OIT announces transition to new centrally supported course evaluation technology

Published: September 9, 2022 Author: Staff reports

The Office of Information Technology (OIT), in consultation with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, has awarded the course evaluation section of the Survey Technologies Evaluation Project RFP to Explorance, Inc., provider of Blue. The new course evaluation technology is set to be implemented over the next academic year.

Blue’s modern platform is expected to improve the course evaluation experience for students, faculty, and staff administrators. The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment will also complement OIT technical support through ongoing professional development focusing on using feedback formatively to refine instruction, the learning context and student engagement.

“The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment looks forward to collaborating with OIT and OHIO instructors to leverage the new capabilities and functionalities of Blue. Student feedback is one aspect of holistic review of teaching effectiveness, and we know students appreciate the opportunity to reflect on their learning experiences," said Melinda Rhodes, executive director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

New features

The transition to Blue is expected to increase student response rates by streamlining the process to complete course evaluations. Instead of receiving an email for each individual course evaluation, students can receive a single email that includes links to all their available evaluations, followed by customized reminders through email or Blackboard. Evaluations will be accessible on any device.

Faculty will have direct access to view course evaluation results within Blue, and those who teach merged or dual-listed courses can receive combined evaluation data in one report, allowing for more accurate student representation and feedback. Data will be available to compare course evaluations over time to help support faculty development.

The switch to Blue is also expected to significantly reduce staff time required to deploy and compile course evaluations, as well as enhance security and reporting capabilities. 

Ohio University has provided the current solution, Class Climate, for course evaluations for more than 10 years but has had several feature and capability limitations that have limited options to increase student participation and provide meaningful reporting for faculty.

Timeline and feedback

OIT intends to launch select components of Blue by the end of fall semester, with a full launch planned for spring 2023. OIT will work closely with survey administrators during the transition, and additional information will be shared throughout fall semester. Class Climate will be accessible to all current users through the end of the 2022-2023 academic year.

To learn more about Blue or to provide additional feedback, consider joining the Teaching and Learning Advisory Community. The group meets monthly to discuss topics and trends related to teaching and learning tools. All faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend.