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ERIC Number: EJ854515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1552-3233
Online Student Evaluations and Response Rates Reconsidered
Anderson, Joan; Brown, Gary; Spaeth, Stephen
Innovate: Journal of Online Education, v2 n6 Aug-Sep 2006
Many administrators are moving toward using online student evaluations to assess courses and instructors, but critics of the practice fear that the online format will only result in lower levels of student participation. Joan Anderson, Gary Brown, and Stephen Spaeth claim that such a concern often fails to acknowledge how the evaluation process already suffers from substantial lack of engagement on the part of students as well as instructors; the online format, they assert, merely inherits the fundamental problem of perceived irrelevance in the process itself. After addressing the reasons behind this problem and discussing how well-designed online evaluations can still make a positive difference, the authors describe the development and implementation of a comprehensive, college-wide online evaluation survey at Washington State University's College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources. In reviewing the survey results, they found that class size, academic discipline, and distribution method played a negligible role in student response rates. However, they found that variances in response rate were significantly influenced by the relative level of participation among faculty members and department heads in the original development of the survey. The authors maintain that online surveys can make the process more relevant and meaningful to students, but they conclude that eliciting greater response rates will still require sustained support, involvement, and advocacy by faculty members and administrators.
Fischler School of Education and Human Services. Nova Southeastern University, 1750 NE 167th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. Tel: 800-986-3223; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A