When did the university switch to online course evaluations?      
Why was the change away from paper evaluations made? 
Where can I go for help?
What are the university core questions?
Can departments add their own questions?
Can individual faculty members add questions?
What happens if students’ inboxes are full, preventing delivery reminders to evaluate courses? 
What is the participation rate for online evaluations? Do fewer students participate?
When will evaluation data be available after the end of a term? 
Can faculty review the responses of one particular student?
Is it possible to access course evaluation data from past semesters?
Who has access to the data?
Does the analysis include incomplete evaluations?
Can students revisit and correct a submitted response?
Are all classes evaluated every term? 
Is this system accessible to students with disabilities?
Do department chairs or administrative coordinators have automatic access to faculty data?
What happens if instructors swap sections?
Can I have access to my teaching assistant or graduate assistant’s data?
Are students required to complete an evaluation to get a grade?
How are team-taught and taught-with courses handled? 
When are evaluations available for students to complete?

When did the university switch to online course evaluations?

A number of individual Ball State units pioneered this approach for the university over the course of the past several years. In spring 2010, a formal pilot program consisting of about 115 courses tested paperless course evaluations. Since the first summer term, 2010, all course evaluations have been conducted online.

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Why was the change away from paper evaluations made?

The shift reflects the university’s efforts to trim costs without sacrificing the quality of a Ball State education or degrading student services. The university has realized (and continues to realize) considerable savings (not to mention environmental benefits) by reducing the amount we spend on paper and printing. In addition, changing to online course evaluations frees up considerable time for our student employees, graduate assistants, and staff members to work on other important tasks; provides results more quickly to departments; and increases class time available for other priorities in the last week of the term. Hassles such as finding No. 2 pencils and proctors for evaluations and attempting to decipher handwritten comments are now a thing of the past.

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Where can I go for help?

If you need assistance with the course evaluation system, you can contact IOTA Solutions at https://bsu.mce.cc/login.aspx. Under the “My Account” menu, there is a user guide and clicking on “Need Help?” opens a form for submitting questions or issues you may have. You can also send an e-mail to evaluations@bsu.edu or contact the Technology HelpDesk at 765-285-1517.

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What are the university core questions?

The core questions are those that are asked on every course evaluation across the university, regardless of the department offering the course in question.

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Can departments add their own questions?

Beginning in the fall 2010 semester, departments are able to add whatever questions are appropriate to evaluations for their courses. The core questions will remain on the evaluations for every course.

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Can individual faculty members add questions?

The option to add your own questions is available one to two weeks before each evaluation period. If you have a class being evaluated in an upcoming evaluation period, you will receive email instructions on how to add and edit questions, as well as preview the form that the students will see for your class. All changes will need to be made prior to the evaluation period opening to the students.

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What happens if students’ inboxes are full, preventing delivery reminders to evaluate courses?

If a student’s Ball State inbox is full, he or she will not receive the notification. Students are informed at Orientation that Ball State e-mail accounts are used for official university communication and should be checked regularly. However, please remind your students to make sure their mailboxes are not full and that forwarding information, if applicable, is accurate and up-to-date. Regardless of whether students receive the reminders, they can visit teaching evaluations directly to access their course evaluations.

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What is the participation rate for online evaluations? Do fewer students participate?

When students complete online evaluations on their own time, response rates tend to be lower than for in-class evaluations. Individual course response rates will vary, but are generally between 40 percent and 60 percent. The evaluations can be completed in-class by students using a computer or smart phone provided the instructor is not present in the room during that time. Participation for in-class completion is often 100 percent of the students who are present. Students who missed class that day, of course, would still have the opportunity to complete the evaluation on their own.

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When will evaluation data be available after the end of a term?

The results will be made available within a day or two after grades have been officially recorded. You will receive an email letting you know when your results are available.

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Can faculty review the responses of one particular student?

Faculty members can see how a single student answered each question along with any comments that were made; however, to preserve anonymity, the identity of that student is not linked to the responses.

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Is to access course evaluation data from past semesters?

Data from each semester beginning with spring 2015 is currently stored and available. Data going back to summer 2010 are being uploaded and will become available in the near future. If you are needing a course evaluation summary report for a semester not currently available, please contact evaluations@bsu.edu.

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Who has access to the data?

Direct access to the course evaluation data is limited to the instructor and department chair. Departments and colleges will retain responsibility for determining how the course evaluation data are used for promotion and tenure and other personnel matters, as well as who beyond the faculty members themselves has access to summary reports and other data. 

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Does the analysis include incomplete evaluations?

If a student leaves a question blank, his or her response is excluded for that question only.

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Can students revisit and correct a submitted response?

Yes, students have until the evaluation period closes to open already submitted responses and redo them. Students can submit only one evaluation per class, so their final submission at the time the evaluation period closes will be the only version used.

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Are all classes evaluated every term?

All classes with an enrollment of four students or more will be evaluated each term. But, although the responses are collected, individual departments may differ on their policies concerning how that information is used for personnel decisions.

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Is this system accessible to students with disabilities?

Digital Measures solutions are compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. To ensure that evaluation forms are accessible to users with visual impairments, the screens can be used in conjunction with a screen reader. Other disabilities may require accommodations available from the Learning Center or Disable Student Development.

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Do department chairs or administrative coordinators have automatic access to faculty data?

No, there is not automatic access. Department chairs need to submit a request for access to evaluations@bsu.edu.

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What happens if instructors swap sections?

Whenever instructors swap sections, these changes need to be reflected in Ball State’s official course database. Evaluations erroneously attributed to another instructor will be deleted, as there is no mechanism to reassign data from one faculty member to another.

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Can I have access to my teaching assistant or graduate assistant’s data?

The TA or GA or someone in your department who has access to all the data will need to provide you with the relevant results.

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Are students required to complete an evaluation to get a grade?

No, students are not required to submit an evaluation. 

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How are team-taught and taught-with courses handled?

Up to three instructors can be listed for team-taught courses. When a student opens the evaluation, the questions are duplicated for each instructor. Each instructor will then receive only the responses to questions concerning him or her.

Taught-with courses are shown in our database as separate courses, even if both meet at the same location and time. If each course has at least four students enrolled, separate evaluations will be done for each part. If one of the courses does not meet the four student minimum, it can be combined with the larger taught-with course provided so that the enrollment threshold can be met. For example, if there were 12 students in a 350 course and 2 students in a 550 course, a combined “350/550” course listing can be created for evaluation purposes so that all 14 students have the opportunity to evaluate the class.

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When are evaluations available for students to complete?

Evaluations will be available for completion near the class ending date listed in the course database. For 5, 8, and 10 week classes, the evaluation period will typically open the week prior to the end of the term. For 15 week classes, the evaluation period will open two to three weeks prior to the end of the term.

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