How did a university system that began to move many courses into online options get badly needed student and faculty feedback on the experience as it took place?
We set up a two-semester online community using the Civicom Chatterbox online research platform for the university. The community ran from August through December, and then again from January through May. As they had multiple courses each semester that they wanted to collect feedback on, we used the segmentation feature to program separate groups for each course requiring evaluation. In all, there were twelve segments – six each semester.
Participants were able to easily log into their segment directly from a link embedded in the online teaching module. This helped remind the participants that providing feedback on the course experience was essential. Because the link went directly to the online community platform and did not connect otherwise to the course itself, the students avoided the potential concern of having their feedback incorporated into their participation in the course.
All responses they recorded in the online community platform were also done using names that we assigned to them – not their own. This was designed to further protect their identities in their responses, with the intent of obtaining candid feedback. The outcome was useful information for the university to use in planning for the next time they would run each course online.
The outcome was useful information for the university to use in planning for the next time they would run each course online.