End-of-semester course evaluations can provide insights into student perceptions of a course, and how the teaching strategies and tools utilized supported learning. Typically at Lafayette there is a formal, centralized process for conducting end-of-semester course evaluations using a paper form. During the Spring 2020 semester formal course evaluations will not be administered due to the atypical semester and abrupt shift to remote teaching and learning. Please view the correspondence from the Provost on March 21st for more information on the suspension of formal course evaluations during the Spring 2020 Semester. Despite this unconventional semester, informal online student course evaluations may still be conducted on each individual faculty members’ own accord for formative purposes.

To obtain feedback from students this semester, some faculty who wish to conduct an informal evaluation of their courses during the Spring 2020 semester may prefer to administer the current formal course evaluation form as is, supplement the current form with additional questions related to remote teaching or other aspects of instruction, or design their own forms. Please note that while they can provide useful feedback, course evaluations should not be used as a sole measure of teaching effectiveness as described in the resource Reviewing Student Course Evaluations.

Below is information on how to access the current course evaluation form online and other items to consider when designing end-of-semester course evaluations.

Administering the Current Lafayette Course Evaluation Form 

During the Spring 2020 Semester, the current Lafayette College course evaluation form is available in Qualtrics for those who would like to administer it to their classes. To access the form in Qualtrics:

Creating the evaluation form

  1. Open Qualtrics
  2. Click the blue “Create new project” button
  3. Choose “Survey” under “Create your own”
  4. Click “From Library” and from the “Select library” drop-down, select “Lafayette College”
    Screenshot of the first steps in creating a form from the Qualtrics form library
  5. From the “Select survey” drop-down, choose “Uncategorized” then select “Course Evaluation Form for Spring 2020”
    Screenshot of the last steps to creating a survey from the Qualtrics forms library
  6. Click the blue “Get Started” button

Modifying the evaluation form

  1. The evaluation form should already be set to be anonymous, but it’s important to double-check by clicking “Survey Options,” scrolling the screen, and selecting “Anonymize Response” under “Survey termination.”
    A screenshot of Survey Options settings in Qualtrics.
  2. In the introductory paragraph of the evaluation, add your course name and your name beside “Course:” and “Professor:” by selecting the box
    Screenshot of a Qualtrics survey edit window.
  3. Title the evaluation form by clicking “Untitled Project” and renaming it to the name of your choice
  4. Click the green “Publish” button to make the survey viewable
  5. To obtain an anonymous link to distribute the survey click “Distributions” on the menu and click “Anonymous Link” from the left
    Screenshot of the Qualtrics distribution page, which includes an anonymous link
  6. Right-click on the link to copy it
  7. Share the link by emailing the class and/or by posting it to Moodle

See Creating from the Survey Library on the Qualtrics support website for additional information.

Other Questions to Consider

Some instructors may wish to include additional questions on the course evaluation form or design their own survey from scratch. For example, some instructors may want student feedback on specific teaching strategies and digital tools utilized during the remote period. In general a good practice for designing such questions is to ensure to the extent possible that they mostly focus on student progress towards meeting course learning objectives and aspects of the course that helped them reach such objectives. Doing so can enhance the amount of useful feedback provided on the course.

Here are a few examples of open-ended items which in Qualtrics can be set up as text entry questions:

Course & Student Learning Strategies

  • Describe any teaching strategies used by your instructor that helped you learn during remote instruction.
  • Describe any digital tools used by your instructor that helped you learn during remote instruction.
  • Which study strategies helped you learn during remote instruction?

Student Effort

  • How would you assess your effort in the course during the remote instruction period? Discuss whether the amount of effort that you expended during remote instruction differed from when the course was held on campus.

Inclusive Teaching

  • Describe any class activities that helped you maintain a sense of community with the class during remote instruction.
  • Discuss any course activities used during remote instruction that were inclusive of diverse learners.

Questions about specific tools or pedagogical strategies in the course may also be asked using open-ended questions as illustrated in the questions above, or Likert-scale items. In Qualtrics, questions with Likert scales can be set up as Net Promoter Score or multiple choice questions.  Here are a few examples to use, as applicable:

To what extent do you agree with the following statements (scale: strongly agree to strongly disagree):

  • Having the option of both asynchronous and synchronous class sessions supported my learning in this course.
  • The small group sessions held via Zoom breakout rooms supported my learning in this course.
  • Using the Moodle Q&A Forum enabled productive class discussions.
  • The virtual office hours held via Google Meet supported my learning in this course.

Instructions for adding questions in Qualtrics surveys can be found in Qualtrics Help Documentation.  Sample course evaluation questions from other institutions can also be viewed in Appendix B of the Student Course Evaluations: Research, Models and Trends Report developed by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.  Additional sample validated and reliable items may be viewed on the IDEA Diagnostic Feedback Sample Student Survey, including questions that focus on student progress towards learning objectives.

Instructor Reflections

In addition to the student feedback, it is highly recommended that instructors reflect upon their own teaching practices during the course, and later review their reflections with the student feedback to obtain a broader perspective about the course. Some instructors may choose to utilize a physical or digital journal for writing their reflections. Such notes need not be extensive, and may focus on items such as instructor perceptions of the learning activities, the usage of particular tools, as well as major takeaways and surprises from remote teaching. The University of Oregon administers a reflective survey to their instructors with questions that might also be useful to review for more ideas.


  • Survey fatigue is a reality. Be mindful of the total length of the course evaluation form and include only those questions for which feedback is most desired so that students will be willing to complete the instrument in its entirety.
  • Administer the online survey by sending out the anonymous link and announcing that it is available during an open window the last week or two of classes prior to when final grades are submitted.
  • Make and uphold an agreement with the students that their responses will not be reviewed until after final grades are submitted so that they feel comfortable responding honestly and have fewer concerns about whether their responses could impact their grades. Not reviewing course evaluations until grades are submitted will also prevent grading from being influenced by student evaluations of the course.
  • Increase student response rates by indicating the value of the student feedback, and how it will be considered when designing future courses. Also send a reminder a few days later to encourage students to complete the form. In the case of synchronous classes, instructors may consider emulating the course evaluation process by administering the course evaluation at the beginning of the class, exiting the call completely while it is being completed and returning in 15 minutes to finish class. Instructors can assure the students that the evaluation form is anonymous and that it should be individually completed and that they should not collaborate on responses. The instructor can also ask a student volunteer to email them if the class finishes the evaluation early so that they can rejoin the call sooner.
  • As indicated above, ensure that the Qualtrics survey is set to “Anonymized Response” and will not collect any information that will identify students.
  • When it is time to review the responses in Qualtrics select the “Report” feature and view the “Results.” A Report can also be generated and downloaded as a .pdf file as well as a .csv or .xls file.

Additional Resources