email 4/15/2020

Dear Faculty, 

Hello. I hope you are staying healthy in every way as we continue through these strange times. In the CFE, we continue to be awed and inspired by the excellent work we hear you are doing. I congratulate you and know the amount of time you are investing in your work. Thank you!

Last week, Ken Silvestri led an information session on Campus Labs IDEA course evaluations, and you should have received a notification that your IDEA course evaluations will open to students next Monday, April 20 and close on May 1st.

Yesterday you received a message from Provost Mokwa and Faculty Senate Chair Austin informing you that this semester’s course evaluations will be a way for you to understand “what worked well and what didn’t work, what was learned, what was tried and what lessons can be used to improve teaching and learning in the future, regardless of teaching modality.” Importantly, your evaluations will not be released to department heads and deans. Only you will have the ability to share your evaluations with others in an opt-in process that you choose to participate in or not.

How to Get the Most from Your Evaluations

Make a video, post an announcement in D2L and/or talk with your students during a lecture:

  • Tell your students why their feedback is important to you by citing specific examples of how you use their feedback to make changes and improvements to your courses.
  • Explicitly reiterate your reasons for structuring the class and learning outcomes.
  • Share with your students what you hope to learn from their evaluations.
  • Communicate the kind of constructive feedback you find most useful.
  • Assign time to complete your evaluation as if it were an assignment.

We know that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced you to make difficult decisions concerning your courses. You have taken risks with new teaching strategies and innovated when you could not test new ideas and technologies before you implemented them. Your course evaluations allow you to better understand how your students learned from and reacted to the changes. Please take this opportunity to learn from them.

Ultimately students want to feel and know that we care about them. Encouraging their constructive responses to our teaching is part of the way for us to let them know we care about their learning and about them as individuals. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about how to communicate with your students about course evaluations or about how to interpret and respond to your results. 

Respectfully and Most Sincerely,

Dean Adams, Director