Hey engineers, it’s that time of the term again! With Course Critiques just around the corner, here are some things to get you up to date. Engineering will again be using UW’s course evaluation platform, Evaluate (evaluate.uwaterloo.ca), for the majority of your course evaluations. Of the 22,415 questionnaires being generated this term, less than 600 are paper; that’s over twenty-one thousand sheets of paper that we don’t have to consume, and that’s amazing! There is another very good reason for moving to electronic evaluations besides just saving paper. It’s the first step toward a new comprehensive evaluation system that will provide instructors of varied course components—labs, projects, seminars, lectures, team-taught, online, and other types of courses—with meaningful student feedback. But without reliable student participation, progress toward this new system is at risk; if response rates drop, results lose meaning and everyone loses trust in the process.
Here are a couple of nifty charts to show you how our response rates have changed in both the paper and electronic delivery methods. It’s a fact that student feedback is critical to teaching development. Your input is very much needed and appreciated by your instructors, your department, and your faculty, and especially by future Engineering students. With both paper and electronic delivery, we see a clear downward trend in response rates; for some reason, over time students have felt less inclined to complete their Course Critiques. The last time A-Soc was on campus, we had our lowest response rate EVER at 56%—we hope that this term sees more participation.
Overall the average response rates for paper and electronic delivery aren’t that different: with paper delivery it was 66% (N=29) and in electronic so far we’re at 62% (N=15). So the system isn’t broken, but we definitely need your help to keep making progress toward a comprehensive electronic evaluation system!
Between March 5 and 16, your professors & instructors should give you class time to complete Course Critiques electronically. Make sure you find out from them when you’ll be given class time so that you can bring your web-enabled phone, tablet, or laptop to class and complete your Course Critiques. And please, be sure to complete all of your Course Critiques—future engineers are counting on you!