End-of-course surveys to be shortened

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New surveys might be introduced in spring 2020, Executive Faculty Council member said.

By Sergio Medina

smedina104@student.alamo.edu

End-of-course surveys, which students take during the week prior to finals week at the end of the semester to evaluate their courses and instructors, will be shortened to 17 questions, English Professor Lennie Irvin said in an interview Oct. 23.

The Executive Faculty Council, which Irvin is part of, worked on formulating a new survey for all classes since early 2018.

The purpose of the new surveys is to make it easier for students to complete, Irvin said.

“The current end-of-course survey, I think it has like 45 questions total, and it’s incredibly long,” he said.

The survey currently in use has questions that do not relate to all courses.

“It keeps asking about exams, and not every professor is doing exams, so not all questions are relevant,” he said.

The new survey would have 13 questions about course comprehension asking for answers ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree; two questions asking the student to rate the course and teaching one-five, one meaning poor and five excellent; and two open-ended questions to get feedback on what should be changed or kept the same.

The council made these recommendations to the Tactical Leadership Team, formerly known as the Presidents and Vice Chancellors team, or PVC, which will decide whether the new surveys are approved or require further changes.

“At this point, the EFC has proposed a new set of questions to administration,” Irvin said. “What they will do with it, I’m not sure. It’s kind of ball’s on their court.”

He said it is probable administration could implement the new surveys as early as spring 2020.

The council will continue to develop surveys that can accommodate courses in need of more specific questions, such as clinical or workforce courses, Irvin continued.

Furthermore, the council will look for methods to get more engagement from students as not all students answer the surveys provided through email and Canvas.

“Now, you’re lucky if you can get maybe 35 percent participation,” Irvin said. “So it’s a real problem.

“It may be, in part, this is such a monster survey that students don’t really like filling it out,” he said. “Forty-five questions is a lot.”

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