Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 9, No. 1 (2012)

Achieving high student evaluation of teaching response rates through a culture of academic-student collaboration

Diana Knight, Bond University
Vishen Naidu, Bond University
Shelley Kinash, Bond University


At the conclusion of each university semester, students are asked to complete surveys evaluating their educators and subjects. Research indicates that online student evaluation of teaching is a preferred means to paper-based surveys. The primary drawback of online evaluation is that the student response rates are usually low, leading to concerns that the reliability, validity and qualitative feedback may be compromised. This paper presents a case study of a small, not-for-profit private university that achieved response rates of nearly 90% on the Likert scale items of online student evaluation of teaching in the first semester of whole-of-university implementation. These response rates were achieved through a collaborative staff/student design and marketing program. One of the main factors heightening participation rates was a student-recommended customisation of the EvaluationKIT system, whereby students had to either complete their surveys or provide a reason for non-participation in order to access their subjects’ Blackboard learning management subject sites.

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