High student response rates are important for the success of UB
Course Evaluations. High response rates give a more complete
picture of the success of our instructors and our programs.
Administrators should give instructors and students clear,
visible examples of how course evaluation data has been used to
improve the unit's programs, teaching and facilities.
Instructors can reinforce to students the value of course
- Reminding students that their responses are anonymous.
- Giving examples of how Course Evaluations impacted their course
or their teaching.
- “I’ve improved my course by adding more review time
- “I’ve shortened some readings based on
- Telling students that you are interested in their point of
- Sharing some interesting results.
Deans and chairs can empower instructors with tools and
incentives for improving student response rates. Create a buzz and
increase interest by sponsoring competitions or providing rewards
for meeting response rate goals.
Research shows that students are most likely to complete
evaluations when the importance of evaluations is discussed in
class. Instructors may provide time in class for students to
complete evaluations on their smartphones, tablets and laptops.
However, the following resolution has been adopted regarding
incentivizing and encouraging course evaluation completion:
- Identifying individual students who have completed evaluations
for the purpose of awarding extra credit is not permitted.
Completion rosters will not be provided to instructors. However,
extra credit may be awarded to an entire class for collectively
achieving a pre-determined response rate. The amount of extra
credit awarded should be modest to avoid any skewing effect on the
evaluations. Since research shows that prizes are not effective in
incentivizing students, these should not be considered.
- Instructors should personally remind students once a week in
class during the administration period. Chairs and deans should
also send personalized, not boilerplate, electronic reminders to
their own majors twice during the administration period—an
initial message at the beginning and a final reminder at the end.
All electronic reminders, both from central administration and from
departments, sould be kept as short and as simple as possible to
avoid “reminder fatigue” that might alienate students
from the process.
Course evaluation response rates are closely tied to the
effectiveness of the unit’s communication plan. Communicate
frequently and often to students to remind them to complete their
course evaluations. Here are some steps administrators
and instructors can take to improve response rates:
- Post course evaluation reminders on department bulletin boards
with QR codes linking to UBCE.
- Add course evaluation information to unit web pages.
- Provide announcements for instructors to distribute in the
classroom or by email.
- Add information about course evaluations (including links) to
- Post the evaluation schedule.
- Remind students that course evaluations are open.
- Add the UBCE link to your course in UBlearns.
- Students will receive system reminders but may have questions
about the process so engage them in discussion and try to answer
- Click ‘Handouts’ in the menu bar on the instructor
page to print quarter-page handouts that include a QR code which
allow smart phones and tablets to link directly to the class