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Academic Affairs changes course evaluation process

Briana Ryan, Asst. News Editor

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The Office of Academic Affairs piloted a new change to course evaluations in the fall 2017 semester.

Students completed the evaluations on their own time through the MarywoodYou Portal.

According to Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Kathleen Ruthkosky, the change came when faculty members requested revisions to the evaluations for online courses to make them more convenient for students to complete. This request led the office to pilot a change to evaluations for all classes.

Now, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is given a list of courses that will be available that semester. Ruthkosky explained that since the courses are already in the portal system, it is easier for the office to go back and add the evaluations. Faculty can then instruct students to either complete the evaluations during class or on their own time.

In years prior, pin numbers were generated and sent to the Office of Academic Affairs. The pins were given to department secretaries who distributed them to faculty to have students complete the evaluations on an electronic device during class time. According to Ruthkosky, the change this year now “allows for fewer hands to be involved in the process.”

Ruthkosky explained that this change will not be detrimental to students’ privacy and that the evaluations are still anonymous.

“OIT [is] not capturing names, student IDs, or even date and time that it happens. The only information being captured is the course, the score and the comments,” said Ruthkosky.

Provost Dr. Susan Turell explained that she does not believe this change will negatively affect the ways student score professors.

“I trust that our students will fairly and thoughtfully provide feedback regarding each class,” said Turell.

Ruthkosky explained that she understands other universities have made course evaluations mandatory by preventing students from obtaining their grades until the evaluations are complete. However, she explained that there are no plans for scenarios like this to happen at Marywood in the foreseeable future.

“I think we’d rather create a culture that encourages students to do them instead of forces students to do them,” said Ruthkosky.

According to Ruthkosky, the number of course evaluations completed this semester indicates that there will not be any significant changes from the amount of evaluations completed last semester with the previous system.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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