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Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning FAQs About Course Evaluations

Who should instructors contact with general questions about course evaluations (course feedback forms) at WSU?

  • College Course Evaluation Coordinators: Each college has a course evaluation coordinator, who works with departments, faculty, Enterprise Systems Group (ESG), and the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) to coordinate the delivery of course evaluations and instructor reports of results. The dean’s office for each college can provide that person’s name and contact information.
  • Enterprise Systems Group (ESG): Contact for all technical planning, implementation, help, training and questions about using eXplorance Blue.
  • Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL): Contact for consultation on course evaluation questions, policies, and interpretation of results and reports.

For more information, see Course Evaluations.

Who should students contact for support?

If you are having trouble logging-in to myWSU, contact 335-HELP.

All other questions and problems should be reported by emailing or using the online portal. Please include the number of the course, section, and instructor name for the evaluation you’re trying to complete, as well as your campus, to speed up assistance.

For more information, see the Blue Help Page.

How do course evaluations help the university?

Feedback about the student learning experience in classes is vital to instructors, departments, and colleges. Results of course evaluations are used by faculty and departments to make changes in course content, teaching approaches, and other decisions that support student learning. Departments and colleges may include information from course evaluations in other decisions, such as teaching assignments, personnel, and facilities.

Which classes are using online student course evaluations in Blue?

All course evaluations will be delivered in Blue. [Exempt from these course evaluations are: a) courses with five or fewer students; and b) courses of an individual/independent nature, as defined by each college (e.g. independent study courses, practica, research credits).]

When will online course evaluations begin this semester?

Most course evaluations are offered during the last three weeks of the regular 15-week semester, but a few courses have earlier end dates and dates can vary. Students will be notified by email from Blue when they have a course evaluation to complete or they can check by logging into myWSU and clicking the “manage classes” tile. The course evaluation link is under the “course evaluations” tab.

Where do students go to complete online course evaluations?

Students may access their online course evaluations in the following ways:

  • Email invitations: Students will receive an email invitation from Blue with a link to their course evaluation(s). These invitations are sent to students’ WSU email address.
  • myWSU: Students can log into myWSU and choose the “manage classes” tile. The course evaluation link is under the “course evaluations” tab. This dashboard will list the online course evaluations that are ready for completion. Note that some course evaluations may be available at different times.
  • Blackboard: Students log in to Blackboard and look for the course link in the Blue course evaluation dashboard on the Blackboard My Institution page.

Can students complete online course evaluations using a mobile device?

Yes. Blue works with laptops, smart phones and tablets, as well as desktop computer, and adjusts the display for the device. No app is needed.

Are students’ responses confidential?

Yes. The online system is designed to protect student confidentiality:

  • Course evaluation results shared with faculty and departments do not include student names or any other individually-identifiable information. Students’ written comments are included exactly as they are submitted.
  • Faculty and chairs are provided with course evaluation results only after grades have been submitted.

Will an instructor know which students completed the online course evaluation?

Results provided to faculty do not include the names of students who completed the evaluation (see above). If an instructor is giving students credit for completing the course evaluations, the instructor will receive a list of names of students who submitted the course evaluation before grades are due. This list does not include any information from the results. Instructors can contact their college’s course evaluation coordinator to confirm if this option is available in their college.

If responses are confidential, how do students receive email reminders?

The Blue software automatically sends reminders to students who have not submitted an evaluation on a pre-defined schedule. These reminders are “personalized” using student names, based on the class list in myWSU. Instructors can see response rates–and encourage students to complete the course evaluation–but instructors do not have access to the course evaluation results until after grades are due.

What questions are the course evaluation?

Questions are determined by each college. The Blue system is flexible, with a wide range of question types available.

Can instructors add their own questions to the online course evaluation?

Blue can allow instructors to add additional questions for each course. This optional feature is available, as determined by each college in coordination with ATL and ESG.

How can instructors get strong response rates in their courses?

There are many strategies that support online response rates. The single most effective way to boost response rates is for instructors to let students know that they read and consider the course evaluation responses each semester, and make changes based on student input. Some instructors also give a small amount of extra credit to students who complete course evaluations. The Blue system sends reminders to students who have not submitted their course evaluation and gives faculty access to see live response rates.

Can students complete the online course evaluation during class?

Since students can use a laptop or mobile device, instructors have the option of giving time in class for course evaluations. In-class delivery works well, with an adaptive display for any laptop or device (no app needed), provided the classroom has adequate wireless access.

What are the benefits of using an online course evaluation system?

The many benefits include:

  • Faculty have electronic records of their course evaluations, including comments.
  • Student confidentiality is better protected online than as written comments on paper.
  • Students have more time to complete thoughtful responses and provide meaningful comments.
  • Students get email reminders to complete course evaluations.
  • Students can use mobile devices to complete course evaluations, in class or outside of class.
  • The online system allows for more flexibility in reporting and analysis.
  • Faculty can add their own questions if permitted by their college.