Instructor participation and evaluation response rates

David raised an interesting point in a recent blog post where he wondered about the possible correlation between academic participation in a course and the response rates in end of term student evaluations.

I used the average level of course coordinator ‘views’ of the discussion forums to distinguish between below average and above average instructor participation.  With these two groups I compared the number of distinct students submitting feedback against the total number of students in the course.

While there are probably some variables that I have neglected to account for, there appears to be a 4% increase in response rates for courses where the academic participation on the discussion forums was above average.  The same trend applied when I used the number of instructor discussion posts and replies as the method of distinguishing between below average and above average instructor participation. I found this result a little surprising. I would have expected a great variation than 4% considering that active participation in discussion forums by the instructor would tend to hint at a greater effort of relationship building. I guess the fact that the 4% variation is across the entire student cohort regardless of campus and the next step would be to look at the response rates of online students only.

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2 thoughts on “Instructor participation and evaluation response rates”

  1. Another “filter” might be size of the class, or perhaps the number of distance education (online) students in the course. A lot of the courses listed in the feedback stats have low numbers (less than 10) and should probably be excluded.

    Another issue is whether or not AIC students are included in these percentages. I have a vague recollection that they still used face-to-face evaluations.

    Lastly, as you suggest, perhaps remove the entirely on-campus courses. e.g. a couple of the engineering courses have close to 50% response rates, don’t think they have large DE cohorts.

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