Improving Processes for Collecting and Analyzing Students' Evaluation of Instruction
Briefly describe the project in less than 100 words. Be sure to identify the key organizational areas (departments, programs, divisions, units, etc.) and key organizational processes that this action project will affect, change, and/or improve.
The college's processes for collecting and analyzing students' evaluation of instruction are antiquated and rely heavily on paper/pencil procedures. This project will streamline those processes by integrating the use of iPads and a specialized application for collecting input from students. The project will also streamline workflow and result in improved time-on-task outcomes, especially for deans, department chairs, and administrative assistants. Finally, the reports generated through this new process will provide better data and more comparative data to both faculty members and administrators. With improved data, we should have enhanced options for improving students' learning outcomes.
Describe your institution's reasons for initiating this action project now and how long it should take to complete it. Why are this project and its goals high among your institution's current priorities? Also, explain how this project relates to any strategic initiatives or challenges described in the institution's recent or soon-to-be submitted Systems Portfolio.
Using iPads to administer students' evaluations of instruction and then to produce reports for faculty and supervisors will result in a much more efficient system for collection, analysis, and distribution of data. While students' evaluation of instruction is just one part of the overall faculty evaluation process, it is a key element that provides students with input into how instruction may be improved. The project is directly related to AQIP Category 1, Helping Students Learn, and Category 2, Meeting Student and Other Stakeholder Needs. In alignment with sub-sections 1P3, 1R3, and 1I3, we intend to use this data to assess the currency and effectiveness of our academic programs. We want to enhance students' learning experience by providing faculty with improved information about students' impressions of their teaching strategies. Additionally, with respect to sub-categories 2P3, 2R3, and 2I3, this project will help the college better meet the changing needs of students and assess the degree to which their needs are being met. The project also aligns with two of the college's strategic priorities: (1) Teaching and Learning, and (2) Student Success. In one way or another, the project will involve a large number of college employees: the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Chief Information Officer, the Executive Director of Human Resources, Deans, Department Chairs, Program Directors, all full-time and part-time faculty, and the academic administrative assistants. We anticipate that it will take about 14 months to implement this new system, refine it, and adopt it as standard operating procedure.
List the project goals, milestones, and deliverables along with corresponding metrics, due dates, and other measures for assessing the progress toward each goal. Be sure to include when you anticipate submitting the project for formal reviews.
Goals, Deliverables, and Timeline
(1) Fully implement the new iPad course evaluation system and provide training for those who will visit classes to administer the course evaluations. Timeline: April 2016.
(2) Keep faculty informed about the change in process and explain clearly how the change will benefit them, their students, and the college. Timeline: April 2016 and throughout the implementation phase.
(3) Evaluate at least 50% of course sections each semester using the new system beginning in the spring semester 2016 and wrapping up the implementation phase of the project in the spring semester 2017. Timeline: May 2016, August 2016, December 2016, & May 2017.
(4) Provide in-depth feedback to at least 95% faculty who were evaluated by students using the new evaluation process. Timeline: Following each semester's data collection.
(5) Create a 50% time savings for administrative assistants involved in this process when comparing the new procedure to the former procedure. Timeline: By May 2017.
(6) Complete formative evaluations of the project outcomes during each semester in order to refine and improve processes. Timeline: Midpoint of each semester.
(7) Complete a summative evaluation of the project following spring semester 2017. If the new processes have proven successful, adopt those processes as the standard operating procedure for the college with respect to collecting, analyzing, and distributing information gained through students' evaluation of instruction. Timeline: May/June 2017.
Describe how various members of the learning community will participate in this action project. Show the breadth of involvement by individuals and groups over the project's duration.
A cross-departmental implementation team will guide the project and assess progress as outlined above. That team consists of the Vice President for Academic Affairs; the Chief Information Officer; the Executive Director of Human Resources; the Dean of Arts & Sciences; the Dean of Health Sciences; the Dean of Business, Engineering, & Industrial Technologies; the President of Faculty Senate (or his/her designee), and the administrative assistants for each of the three academic divisions. Additionally, department chairs and program directors will use the new process and provide input for its improvement throughout the implementation phase. All full-time and part-time faculty will be evaluated through the system and will have the opportunity to provide input regarding the quality and usefulness of the information they will be receiving through the process. In all, approximately 60% of the college's employees will interact with this process at some point during the project timeline.
Describe how the institution will monitor project progress/success during, and at the completion of this project. Be sure to specifically state the measures that will be evaluated and when.
Using the benchmarks and timeline indicated above, the project management team will monitor the status of the project with at least one team meeting each semester. The primary outcomes for the project will include assessment of the following objectives.
- Evaluate at least 50% of course sections each semester using the new system beginning in the spring semester 2016 and wrapping up the implementation phase of the project in the spring semester 2017. Timeline: May 2016, August 2016, December 2016, & May 2017.
- Provide in-depth feedback to at least 95% faculty who were evaluated by students using the new evaluation process. Timeline: Following each semester's data collection.
- Create a 50% time savings for administrative assistants involved in this process when comparing the new procedure to the former procedure. Timeline: By May 2017.
- Complete formative evaluations of the project outcomes during each semester in order to refine and improve processes. Timeline: Midpoint of each semester.
- Complete a summative evaluation of the project following spring semester 2016. If the new processes have proven successful, adopt those processes as the standard operating procedure for the college with respect to collecting, analyzing, and distributing information gained through students' evaluation of instruction. Timeline: May/June 2017.
The project team will provide progress reports to the college's Executive Cabinet at least twice during the project as well as a summative evaluation and recommendation to that group at the end of the project.
Describe the challenges that may be encountered in successfully completing the project or for institutionalizing the learning from the project's goals.
The implementation team has identified the following challenges that will need to be addressed.
- Implementing new technology and providing the necessary training.
- Evaluating large classes when limited by the number of iPads available.
- Developing a schedule to cover all classes to be evaluated while sharing a single cart of iPads.
- We may need to find funds to purchase additional iPads.
- Creating, monitoring, and tweaking a new process to arrive at a best practice.
Provide any additional information that the institution wishes reviewers to understand regarding this Action Project.
None at this time.