Web Applications and Technology - Course Evaluations

Online Course Evaluations - Overview

Please read this section for an overview of course evaluation. Subsequent sections contain details and background information.

  • In Fall 2013 - UT Dallas implemented UT System's Guidelines for Student Evaluation. Evaluations follow these guidelines.
  • Classes of any type with 5 or more students are required to be evaluated.
  • Classes with less than 5 students can be evaluated by request (email to: wat@utdallas.edu).
  • The end-of-term evaluation active campaign runs for a full two weeks: (this is the period when the evaluation system sends multiple emails reminders to students to complete evaluations).
  • The full open period for evaluations is a full six weeks: (before the active campaining period students, can access evaluation via CourseBook *OR* UT Dallas UES Class Evaluation Homepage.
  • Priority access to grades is available in CourseBook to students who complete all evaluations (i.e. grades released before official grade release posted in academic calendar).
  • Instructors may conduct in class evaluations at their discretion. The evaluation system is mobile device enabled and works very well in a class setting. Please review the guidelines below for suggestions with in class evaluations. Click here to see the help page on this topic.
  • During the campaign - response rates by school are available on the UT Dallas UES Class Evaluation Homepage.

Suggestions for Performing In Class Evaluations

Some instructors allocate class time for evaluations. This is a great way to increase response rate. The two most common methods to access evaluations are via personalized email or via the Evaluations website. The Evaluations website method is the preferred method for in class evaluations as all students will have the same experience:

  1. Visit https://eval.utdallas.edu
  2. Click the “Login to Evaluate Your Classes” button and login using university NetID and Password.
  3. Click the button for the class you want to evaluate.

UT Systems' Guidelines for Student Evaluation (Implemented Fall 2013)

In response to UT Systems' Guidelines for Student Evaluation of Faculty (2013-08-26), the UT Dallas evaluation system (UES) and procedures have been updated to achieve compliance with both the required and recommended elements of the guidelines.

The UT System Task Force created to identify a consistent method of evaluation across multiple institutions derived a solution almost identical to the existing UES system in use at UT Dallas since 2011. UT Dallas' evaluation methodology and materials were provided to the Task Force to aid in the development the policies. The changes needed to meet all requirements and recommendation were minimal.

The combination of the Texas Education Code Section 51.974 end-of-course evaluation requirements with UT Dallas' institutional requirements results in the following policies for conducting evaluations at UT Dallas:

  • All undergraduate and graduate classes with 5 or more students must be evaluated.
  • Classes with 1-4 students have the OPTION to be evaluated by request of the instructor or school.
  • All classes designated as fulfilling a Texas General Education Core Curriculum must be evaluated regardless of student enrollment.
  • End-of-course evaluations start two weeks before the "grades viewable" date posted in the Academic Calendar.
  • End-of-course evaluations end the day before the "grades viewable" date posted in the Academic Calendar.
  • All evaluations use an updated "UT Dallas CORE" survey instrument (originally designed by a Faculty Senate sub-committee in 2011). The updated instrument has been designated "CORE2".
  • CORE2 is primarily a rearrangement of the original CORE survey with 2 additional questions, and 2 reworded questions.
  • Students who complete all of their evaluations will be given "priority access" to grades via CourseBook.  These grades will be labeled "preview" and/or "unofficial" with the Orion system continuing to be the official and authoritative source for grades.
  • Exceptions to the evaluation requirement are granted by the Provost. Requests must be made in writing (email) and need to provide a clear reason.

The updated evaluation process went into effect Fall 2013 (per UT System requirement).

Updated Survey - CORE 2: Questions (Fall 2013-onward)

  • A1. The instructor clearly defined and explained the course objectives and expectations.
  • A2. The instructor was prepared for each instructional activity.
  • A3. The instructor communicated information effectively.
  • A4. The instructor encouraged me to take an active role in my own learning.
  • A5. The instructor was available to students either electronically or in person.
  • A6. The instructor seemed genuinely interested in teaching.
  • A7. The instructor provided timely feedback.
  • A8. The instructor evaluated students fairly.
  • A9. Overall, this instructor was excellent.
  • B1. The course objectives were clearly defined.
  • B2. The course was well organized.
  • B3. Overall, the course was excellent.
  • C1. I was free to ask questions and express my opinions and ideas.
  • C2. My performance was evaluated fairly.
  • C3. I discussed ideas from this course with others outside the classroom.
  • C4. This course has been (or will be) of value to me.
  • C6. This course inspired me to learn more.

How Online Evaluation Works

  • Students participate in class evaluations by filling out an online evaluation form.
  • Each registered student is permitted ONE EVALUATION for each class they take.
  • There are three ways for a student to gain access to their evaluation forms.
    • Method 1: Students can login to CourseBook (coursebook.utdallas.edu) - the universities official class information system - and access the form by clicking the "Evaluate Class" link. This link is only available to registered students of the class.
    • Method 2: All registered students will receive a personalized email at the beginning of the active campain. The email contains a unique web link with one-click access to the evaluation form. Follow up emails are sent to students who do not complete the evaluation (likewise students that do complete the evaluation will not receive additional emails).
    • Method 3: Instructors can send emails to students containing unique web links with CourseBook Mail.

What Departments and Schools Can Do

  • Make sure faculty understand how the evaluation system works. Each instructor should know:
    • Email is sent to student UT Dallas AND personal email addresses.
    • The email contains a single click URL link to perform an evaluation.
    • Each student can only evaluate each class one time.
    • Students need to perform the evaluation before the end date and time as specified in the email.
    • Evaluation responses are anonymous.
    • Because email can be unreliable (spam filters, etc.) - students need to know that they can perform an evaluation via CourseBook even without the email. Step-by-step instructions on doing this is available here: http://coursebook.utdallas.edu/coursebookhelp#how-do-i-evaluate-a-class
    • Emails will stop after the student performs the evaluations. Otherwise the student will continue to receive emails inviting them to participate (usually 3-4 rounds of email are sent).
  • Instructors should inform their students (in class, via email, eLearning, class blog, etc):
    • That online evaluations are taking place.
    • That evaluations are an important part of improving the university.
    • That student opinion is valued and has actual material impact at the university.
    • Encourage students to submit an evaluation asap.

What Individual Instructors Can Do:

  • Consider performing evaluations during one of the final class sessions. Click here to view guidelines.
  • To insure great response rates and quality results, please inform your students that online evaluations are being conducted and to expect an email from the Provost's office with instructions and a one-click-link to directly access the the evaluation form.
  • Students need to know how simple the process is, that it is anonymous, and how important their contribution is.
  • The best response rate and quality comments come from classes where the instructors have taken an interest in the evaluation process. Indicating interest directly to the students and emphasizing the importance of the evaluation results works.

How to Monitor Evaluation Progress

Anyone can use CourseBook to check the current status and progress of evaluations. Here is one easy method that instructors can use to monitor the progress of evaluation for their classes:

  • Access https://coursebook.utdallas.edu
  • Click the MY CLASSES tab.
  • Click the LOGIN TO COURSEBOOK link. This will open the network authentication page.
  • Login using your NetID and password. You will be returned to CourseBook.
  • Click the EVALUATE CLASS link for the class you would like the status on.
  • Classes undergoing evaluation will have response rate (example below):
The evaluation progress view

How to Determine Who has Participated in Evaluations

Evaluation responses are always anonymous - however, participation status is not (akin to the US election system). Therefore is it possible to see which students have participated in evaluations as long as at least 5 students have completed evaluations.

  • Access https://coursebook.utdallas.edu
  • Click the MY CLASSES tab (login if necessary).
  • Click the CLASS LIST link for the class you would like the status on.
  • If 5 or more students have completed evaluations - the class list will have a 0 or 1 in the EVAL column. 1 indicates that one evaluation has been submitted (i.e. the student has participated).
Student participation view