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Home Teaching@DePaul Teaching FeedbackOnline Teaching Evaluations - Writing the Faculty Added Questions
Online Teaching Evaluations - Writing the Faculty Added Questions

The online teaching evaluation (OTE) system has the capability to include up to five faculty questions. If enabled by the school or college department/program chair, the system will automatically remind faculty members when the faculty customization period opens in the seventh week of each quarter.

What can be learned from using the faculty added questions?

The faculty added questions are a valuable opportunity to get feedback that is specific to a particular class or even a particular quarter. Faculty can receive feedback on new teaching strategies, student engagement in course materials, student motivations for being in our courses, etc.

A few suggested categories and questions are listed below. For more information about each topic, click the blue links to visit the relevant Teaching Commons page.

Useful Information on Writing the Questions

While the OTE system is flexible, the following guidelines and limits should be noted (from the OTE Technical FAQ):

  1. All OTE items are available in Campus Connect during the faculty customization period, which occurs the seventh week of each quarter and remains open for two weeks. If you decide to use the faculty questions, remember to preview the entire evaluation to see if the questions you want to add are already addressed.
  2. The system allows three type of questions:
    a. Open ended
    b. Yes/No
    c. Scales
  3. The following table summarizes all existing character limits for the questions and answers: Item
    Maximum Allowed
    Text of each question (all types) 130 characters
    Text of students’ answer to each open ended question 3999 characters
    Number of values in a scales 7 values (minimum of 2)
    Text of name/description of each value in a Likert scale 30 characters

It might also be useful to view the OTE video tutorials:


Questions on Achieving Course Learning Objectives

Course learning objectives are the foundation of any course and gathering feedback on how well students think they met them provides valuable information on how students understand their own learning. Additionally, you can use faculty questions to specifically ask about the objectives you are most interested in or concerned about. You can then use this information to design future courses with increased attention to those objectives that students feel uncertain about.

Sample Questions:

  • As a result of this course I can explain current events within historical, cultural, and social contexts.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree
  • As a result of this course I can analyze the effect of political, social, and economic structures on the individual.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree
  • As a result of this course I am able to critically analyze information from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree
  • As a result of this course I am able to synthesize the arguments of 19th century western authors.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree
  • This course prepared me to analyze marketing strategies and write marketing recommendations.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree
  • The course prepared me to organize and write a speech on public policy.
    [   ] Yes [   ] No


Questions on Evaluating Course Materials

When using different readings or integrating new resources, it's useful to get student reactions to those materials. Gathering feedback on what kinds of course materials students found the most useful can help you choose what materials to use the next time you teach the course.

Sample Questions:

  • What course materials helped you learn course content the most?
    Open ended question.
  • What assignments were most useful for practicing concepts (e.g., online quizzes, mapping arguments/concepts, writing summaries, etc.)?
    Open ended question.
  • The class visit to the University Archives helped me identify resources for my final paper
    [   ] Yes [   ] No
  • To what extent did you find the (textbook/supplementary readings/podcasts) helpful in understanding course concepts?
    [   ] Very Unhelpful [   ] Unhelpful [   ] Somewhat unhelpful [   ] Neither helpful nor unhelpful
    [   ] Somewhat helpful [   ] Helpful [   ] Very Helpful


Questions on Incorporating Specific Instructional Strategies

If you are integrating new strategies or teaching using an innovative technique, students can often provide valuable feedback on how well this facilitated their learning. You can use this information to refine and better prepare the course for the next time you teach it, saving time and making it more effective for student learning.

Sample Questions:

Discussions

  • I learned more from discussions when I had a question to think about first.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Neither agree nor Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree
  • I learned more from discussions when had a prompt to write about first.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Neither agree nor Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree

Group Work

  • I found it helpful when the instructor summarized results obtained as part of group work.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Neither agree nor Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree
  • What activity enhanced your learning experience the most?
    [   ] Field trip to the CBO [   ] Guest speaker from USAID [   ] Contributing to the class Wiki

Technology Integration

  • The use of i-clickers in this course helped me clarify difficult course concepts.
    [   ] Yes [   ] No
  • How did the course discussion board help you understand gender roles in today’s society?
    Open ended question.
  • I was able to find course materials on the course website.
    [   ] Always [   ] Usually [   ] Sometimes [   ] Never
  • I was given enough instruction on how to access course materials online.
    [   ] Strongly disagree [   ] Disagree [   ] Agree [   ] Strongly agree
  • What additional technical instruction is necessary? Why?
    Open ended question.


Questions on Understanding Student Motivation

Knowing student motivations for taking a course provides you with the opportunity to better understand your students’ past experiences and expectations. This information helps contextualize your students’ responses to OTE questions.

Sample Questions:

  • What was your reason for taking this course?
    [   ] Requirement for the major [   ] Distribution requirement [   ] Interested in subject
    [   ] Good reviews of the instructor
  • What were your expectations for this class and how effectively have they been met?
    Open ended question.
  • How do you think you will incorporate course concepts into your career?
    Open ended question.


Questions on Evaluating Student Preparation

Understanding how students are preparing, studying, and completing course work can help you organize and write your syllabus, design assignments, offer appropriate feedback, and motivate your students.

Sample Questions:

  • How much effort did you generally put into ungraded homework assignments?
    [   ] A lot of effort [   ] Some effort [   ] Very little effort [   ] No effort
  • I completed the majority of the assignments.
    [   ] A few days before the due date [   ] The day before the due date
    [   ] The day of the due date [   ] After the due date [   ] Never
  • I prepared for class by finishing all assigned readings.
    [   ] Always [   ] Usually [   ] Sometimes [   ] Never
  • During an average week, about how many hours did you spend covering course readings?
    [   ] Less than an hour [   ] 1-2 hours [   ] 2-4 hours [   ] More than four hours
  • Prior to most class sessions for this course I completed.
    [   ] All of the required readings [   ] Most of the required readings [   ] Some of the required readings [   ] None of the required readings
  • What type of feedback on course papers/projects was most helpful in improving your work? (Class reviews/Individual conferences/Detailed notes)
    Open ended question.
  • I contributed to the course Wiki as much as I gained from it.
    [   ] Yes [   ] No


References and Resources

This student questionnaire from Princeton provides a set of general questions that you could include on the OTE.

This list of questionnaire topics by discipline from the University of Texas-Austin includes numerous suggested questions organized by discipline.

These sample evaluation questions and topics from Michigan State University focus on questions appropriate for courses taught online.