Starting about 20 years ago, universities began transitioning their teaching evaluations from paper to an online format (clearly OSU took MUCH longer to make the change)! While efficiency and the number of qualitative comments may have improved, response rates have taken a nose-dive. Hopefully you have taken the Deans’ recent suggestion to administer some type of written mid-term teaching evaluation in your classes. If not, then the advice in this post is even more important for you.

Let’s step back a second. Why are response rates so low? Is it because students believe their feedback doesn’t matter? Or are they “feedback-fatigued”? Why SHOULD students want to complete teaching evaluations?

Students should be completing teaching evals because (hint: share these reasons with your students):

  1. Doing so can help them understand how they learn best.
  2. The quality of instruction matters.
  3. They want to help those who follow them in the next class to have an even better experience. This works really well if you share what you have changed in your class as a result of student feedback. Continue reading