Online Course Evaluation Feasibility Study

Description of the project

Environmental scan

Other California State University (CSU) Campuses

Of the twenty-two CSU campuses other than SF State, sixteen responded to an informal survey about the using an online delivery method of course evaluations. Thirteen of sixteen (81.25%) responding CSU campuses are using or piloting online course evaluation tools.

CSU Sacramento

CSU Sacramento has conducted its own study and has shared documentation with SF State.

Other Universities

Campuses across the United States that have investigated and implemented online course evaluation solutions include, but are not limited to, Yale University (CT), Marquette University (WI), SUNY Orange, Eastern University (PA), University of Michigan, Rice University (TX), Brandeis University (MA), UC San Diego, and Stanford University. Basic information and relevant links, when available, about these universities' online course evaluation research and online course evaluation solutions are listed below:

Yale Online Course Evaluations

Yale Online Course Evaluation FAQ - link opens new window

  • Student motivation strategy: Students at Yale must complete, or actively decline to complete, online evaluations for their courses in order to have early access to online reports of term grades from the Registrar's Office.

Yale Committee on Teaching, Learning, and Advising - Online Course Evaluation decision process documents - link opens new window

  • November 2002 recommendation to move to online course evaluations in response to weaknesses in the previous system.
  • January 2007 report on the online course evaluations considers system a success on the whole, reaching and maintaining 80% response rates and providing "more and better information to instructors (Yale College Committee on Teaching and Learning, 2007, p.2). The same report provided site design recommendations for improvement.
  • March 2007 report of proposed changes to online course evaluation system.
Eastern University

Eastern University - Online Course Evaluation (OCE) system - link opens new window

  • Term-based courses with three or more registered students are evaluated using the Online Course Evaluation (OCE) system. Shortly before the course ends, OCE emails students through their Eastern email account to inform them that the evaluation period has begun, and to provide a link to the evaluation website. Students have two weeks to complete the evaluation.
  • Evaluation results are available to instructors and department chairs/program directors only after grades for the course have been officially submitted to the Registrar.
Stanford University

Stanford - Online Course Evaluations - link opens new window

  • The Office of the University Registrar manages the course evaluation process through the Online Course Evaluation system on behalf of the Deans in these schools: Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering, Humanities and Sciences, School of Medicine and MLA program.
University of California, San Diego

UC San Diego - Course and Professor Evaluations (CAPE) Online - link opens new window

  • UC San Diego's Course and Professor Evaluations (CAPE) is a "student run organization that administers a standardized evaluation of UCSD's undergraduate courses" ( The site has tips on increasing response rates.
Marquette University

Marquette Online Course Evaluation System (MOCES) - link opens new window

  • Data from presentation to their Academic Senate Committee on Teaching: Marquette's internal study showed the same average mean scores (instructor ratings) for the combined four core questions for both traditional and online evaluation methods (Riley, MacBride, & Levy, 2009, slide 11).
State University of New York (SUNY), Orange

SUNY Orange - Online Course Evaluation FAQ for faculty and students - link opens new window

  • SUNY Orange uses CourseEval.
  • The site has tips on increasing response rates and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for students and faculty.
University of Michigan

University of Michigan - Course Evaluation (Teaching Questionnaires) page - link opens new window

  • Site contains links to pilot study information and taskforce recommendations. Recommendations included stipulations that implementation should ensure student anonymity, seek to improve response rates, and discontinue the use of paper questionnaires to reduce confusion between results from different evaluation methods.
Rice University

Rice University - ESTHER (Employee and Student Tools, Help, and Electronic Resources) - link opens new window

Article about the Rice University course evaluation process - link opens new window

  • The article states that switching to an online system made it more convenient for students, elicited more thoughtful comments, and saved money. Rice University is investigating incentives to increase response rates.
Brandeis University

Brandeis University - Charge to Course Evaluation Committee - link opens new window

Brandeis University - Course Evaluation page - link opens new window

  • Research results are not public. Findings discussed over the phone:
    • No statistical differences in evaluation scores.
    • Response rates initially dropped after they moved from paper-based evaluation process. They have tried strategies such as awarding prizes for participation. They have experienced partial success by telling faculty how many students have completed evaluations, so they can encourage the class to fill them out. Some instructors are asking students to bring laptops and giving them time in class to do it. Brandeis is considering waiting to release grades and allowing students "early access" on a per class basis after submitting evaluation. [NOTE: Yale does this.]
Lingnan University (Hong Kong)
  • Some advantages of doing online course evaluation: Reduced printing and paper costs, reduced time for survey administration and data processing, and flexibility in administration without the need to schedule class time for course evaluation, more time for students to give thoughtful comments, greater flexibility for formative evaluations.

Industry Analyst Perspective

Extensive searches identified no industry analysis documentation for online course evaluation solutions.

References for this page

Riley, A., & MacBride, L. (2009). Summary of the Marquette On-line Course Evaluation System (MOCES): Academic year 2008-2009. Presentation retrieved September 10, 2010, from Marquette Office of Institutional Research and Assessment site:

Yale College Committee on Teaching and Learning. (2007, January 23). Report of the Teaching and Learning Committee on the On-Line Course Evaluation system at Yale College. Retrieved on September 10, 2010, from Yale College Teaching, Learning, and Advising site:

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