Online Subject Evaluation Pilot

By Rosanne Santucci, Communications and Data Specialist, Office of Faculty Support

This spring the Office of Faculty Support (OFS), in collaboration with staff from the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology and Information Services and Technology, developed and piloted a new Who’s Teaching What (WTW) system and an online subject evaluation system. Twenty-two subjects from four departments (Chemical Engineering, Philosophy, Literature, and Physics) participated in the pilot.

In early May, students in the 22 subjects were invited to evaluate their subjects online. They completed 669 evaluations, including ratings and comments for 75 instructors. There was a wide variation in response rates among individual subjects, ranging from a high of 94% to a low of 34%. Based on a preliminary review of evaluation results, ratings of subjects and instructors seem to be consistent with results from the paper system, but more analysis will be done this summer.

Customized reports have been developed for departments and individual instructors so that they can see summaries of responses as well as individual (but anonymous) student responses. These reports include not only quantitative data but student comments.

For the fall the project team is planning to recruit five more departments and triple the number of subjects evaluated online. More information on the project is available at
http://web.mit.edu/se-project.

While developing an online subject evaluation, OFS continues to administer the paper system used in evaluating more than 700 subjects each term. Summary reports of quantitative responses for the pilot subjects and the paper system are available for members of the MIT community at https://web.mit.edu/acadinfo/sse/index.html.