American University of Central Asia - AUCA - Course evaluation
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Course evaluation

The course evaluation by students to courses and teachers has been built and distributed to students using a third-party software Qualtrics. The actual survey has been designed by a team appointed by the President, and has been run in this form since Spring 2016.

 

How to read the course evaluation?

 

Course evaluation results are one input faculty can use to reflect on their teaching. It is also of interest to both faculty and departments to consider, and eventually adapt, course offerings.

The survey has closed and open-ended questions.

 

How to read numerical results?

 

The mean

The rating scale used in the evaluation is 1 to 7 Likert scale, where 1 is Strongly agree, and 7 is Strongly disagree. A mean closer to 1 therefore reflects a more positive feedback.

 

The Standard deviation

The standard deviation (SD), indicates the variability of students’ responses. In a scale of 1 to 7, a SD higher than 1.5-1.7 indicates a higher difference in opinion. For example, if the mean is 2, and the SD is 2, it means students opinions were dispersed all the way between Strongly agree(1) and Undecided (4). This would be an indication that part of the class did not profit as much from the course or the teaching, and the problems they encountered need to be taken into account and addressed next time.

 

The numerical results are useful to identify trends- strengths and weaknesses. The points concerning the course and the teaching, should be understood as follows:

 

Course

 

The expectations for learning as a results of this course were clearly stated

 

Concerns course design, and how and whether all the elements of the course- stated objectives, content, assignments, tests, and outcomes, are well aligned or perceived as well aligned

The activities, projects, assignments, test, exams, were useful to improve your understanding of the course material

As the course progressed you could see how each topic fits into the course as a whole

Your interest in the subject has been stimulated by this course

Indicates to what extent the topic(s) were interesting and intellectually engaging

The course had many topics but connection between them was unclear

This is a catch question to verify students actually read the survey. The mean rating for this question should be opposite to that of Statement 3.

I learned a great deal from this course

Overall impression of how much learning students feel happened during the course

 

 

 

Teacher

This part of the survey is all about the teacher’s interaction with the students and the teaching strategies. Teachers attitude towards students and their passion for their subject play a crucial role in students’ engagement with the subject. Other important elements are involving students in discussions and active work (elements of student- centered learning); and providing effective feedback. Designing courses and classes around the student’s activities rather than around the content, provides better opportunities for students to actually learn.

 

 

The teacher presented course topics in a clear and understandable way

Teaching strategy and following a good course design

The teacher showed interest and enthusiasm teaching the course

Teacher’s involvement with the subject

The teacher conducted the classes in such a way that the subject matter became interesting and intellectually stimulating

Teaching strategy

The teacher encouraged you to think critically

Overall AUCA learning outcomes

The teacher provided adequate opportunities for questions and discussion during class time

 

 

 

Teaching strategy and following a good course design

 

 

The feedback provided throughout the course helped you improve your understanding/skills

The teacher's use of teaching technology (e.g. e-course, audio-visual presentations, email, social networks) was effective

The teacher was available to students out of class

Teacher’s responsiveness and assistance

You learned a great deal from this teacher

Overall impression of the teacher’s teaching strategy and personal impact on learning

 

 

The follow-up question How often did you speak in class? Gives an indication of the interactivity in the classroom, and can help teachers rethink the types of activities they do in class, and make them more inclusive.

 

Were you provided with feedback throughout the semester? Feedback is an important part  of the learning process as students can see how well they progress in the course, and can correct and improve their performance.

 

How to interpret written comments?


Comments can be the most useful information of the course evaluation. They provide the insights and richness to help teachers get a better understanding of elements of the course and their teaching which matter to students. This is why repeated patterns in the comments can help identifying problems and weaknesses. You need to balance the comments to the mean, and have in mind that sometimes they might reflect polarisation in students’ opinions. Positive comments might be more general, while negative comments might be too particular.

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