Watermark Course Evaluations for Faculty
Course evaluations take place over a variety of different timeframes near the end of the semester depending on the academic calendar in which your courses are offered.
Typical Evaluation Process
Prior to Evaluation Period
Instructors will receive an automated email about one week prior to the start of course evaluations. This email will contain the specific dates of the course evaluation window, as well as tips to notify students and encourage participation. Instructors will receive another reminder email on the morning of the first day that course evaluations are open.
During Evaluation Period
Checking Response Rates
Instructor will receive an automated email about halfway through the evaluation period including the current response rate for each of their courses. Instructors may also check the current response rate from each of their courses at any time during the evaluation period. In order to check, access the Watermark Course Evaluations module on your Blackboard homepage. This will take you to your Watermark Course Evaluations Instructor Dashboard which will show you exactly how the course evaluations for each of your courses are progressing. To the right side of the dashboard page you will see the Response Rate Tracker.
You can click the title of the project to dig deeper into the response rate for each of the courses you teach.
After Evaluation Period Ends
Approximately two weeks after final grades are due for a given semester, the course evaluation results will be available to both instructors and administrators. An automated email will be sent when the results are available. You may click on the link in the email or access reports through the Watermark Course Evaluations module on the Blackboard homepage. Please watch the Instructor Access to Reports Tutorial for instructions on how to access course evaluation reports.
Watermark Course Evaluations Resources for Faculty
- Watermark Course Evaluations Preview Survey [pdf]
- Tips for Increasing Course Evaluation Response Rates [pdf]
Get answers to questions about using Watermark Course Evaluations for course evaluations.
No, evaluations are only conducted in an online format.
All questions asked on the end of course evaluation are included on this Watermark Course Evaluations Preview Survey [pdf]. These questions are the same questions that were used when course evaluations were conducted in a paper format. Only the delivery format was changed, the questions themselves were not adjusted.
Students can complete their course evaluations on any desktop or laptop computer. If they are using a computer or laptop, they can access evaluations through a link in the emails they receive or through the Watermark Course Evaluations module on their Blackboard homepage.
No, you do not need to use Blackboard in any way for your students to complete their course evaluations. All of the necessary links are sent in an email to students. Faculty and students may access all of their evaluations from the general Blackboard homepage, even if a specific course does not actively use the system. There are no links or resources specifically set up for course evaluations inside a Blackboard course.
Yes, it is possible to reserve a portion of class time to have students complete course evaluations. If so, you should let students know that you will be reserving this time, especially if you are encouraging them not to complete evaluations prior to that time. In order for students to complete evaluations during class they will either need to bring their own device (laptop, tablet, or smartphone) or you must hold class in a computer lab.
Please remember the same classroom process for conducting course evaluations that was in place when paper evaluations were used is still required for online evaluations. Instructors should not be present during the 10 to 15 minutes that the students will need to complete the evaluation. You have the option of designating a staff or faculty member to administer the survey on your behalf. The following statement should be read to students by the instructor prior to leaving the room or by the designee:
"Do not begin to fill out the course evaluation until your instructor has left the room. Your instructor will not see the responses until after grades have been assigned."
Yes, students can choose to opt-out of any evaluation for any specific course. This will include their response in the overall response rate for the course, but will not provide any responses to specific questions. Instructors will be able to see the number of students that chose to opt-out for each course.
End of course evaluation reports are available approximately two weeks after final grades are posted. Both instructors and department chairs/program directors and deans will receive an email the day that course evaluation reports are available. Copies of the reports will be available in the system from that point forward, however, instructors should download copies of their own reports for archival purposes.