Hi again, Bears! This week, I’m covering a topic that I myself have experienced confusion with in the past. Perhaps recently, as you’ve gone onto Blackboard, you’ve gotten that banner notification asking you to complete a survey, or you’ve received an email in your inbox asking for the same thing. If you don’t know what those notifications or emails mean, you are in luck! For this week’s post, I’ll be discussing what those surveys are, why they’re important, and how to fill them out.
What Are Course Evaluations?
Those Blackboard and email notifications that ask you to complete a survey are called course evaluations, and you’re most likely seeing them because it’s getting close to the end of the semester. Course Evaluations are exactly like their title makes them sound—the surveys are an opportunity for you to evaluate the courses that you have taken during the current semester. What they look like and the questions that they ask can vary depending on the department or class, but their purpose is the same. Course Evaluations give students the opportunity to voice their opinions about a class experience, and that information is used to change and improve the course for future students. Typically, course evaluations become available towards the end of the semester, and students are given a limited amount of time to fill them out. Most of the time, they’ll ask you typical survey questions, like agree or disagree statements, ranking statements, or multiple choice. Sometimes, there’s even a written response option provided, where you can go into detail about your experience.
Why Are They Important?
Course Evaluations offer students a unique opportunity to evaluate almost every aspect of the classes that they’ve been taking, including content, organization, and instructors. The university uses this information provided by students to better the course experience for future students. If you have suggestions for how a course can be improved, a course evaluation is probably the best place to share them. Not only are they convenient, but they’re also anonymous, so your opinion won’t affect you in any way. Course Evaluations are also a great place to discuss anything that you enjoyed about a course, as that can be equally as beneficial as any suggestions for improvements. In the same way that it is important to know what can be done to improve a course, it is just as important to know what a course or an instructor is doing well. You are not required to fill them out, but you should definitely make some time to, as it can only benefit the university and future students.
How Do I Fill Them Out?
Course Evaluations are very easy to fill out. When you go into Blackboard and get the banner notification, just click on the blue button that says “Complete the Survey”. That will take you to the evaluations and let you fill out whatever evaluations are open at that time. Sometimes, the time for evaluations are scattered, so every course evaluation may not be open all at once. If there are any evaluations available for you to fill out, you will receive Blackboard or email notifications, and you will continue to receive reminders until you complete them. The evaluations will ask you standard survey questions about the instructor and/or your experience in the course. Answer all of the questions truthfully, and when you’re done, just hit the maroon submit button at the bottom of the page. Your responses will be submitted, and you are done! Course Evaluations typically only take a few minutes to complete, but they can take longer if you include a detailed written response about your experience. If you have any issues accessing an evaluation, check the email you received for tips and who to contact for assistance. One common suggestion is to make sure to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your web browser. After you complete a course evaluation, you should receive a confirmation via your Missouri State email.
Hopefully this information has helped you better understand what course evaluations are, why they are important, and how you can fill them out. If you can, try to make some time before the semester ends to complete your course evaluations. As a student, you deserve to have your voice heard, regardless of your course experience.
It is so hard to believe that the semester is already coming to a close, but Finals Week is right around the corner! Now, more than ever, it is important to work hard so that you can finish strong. As always, remember that if you are struggling, want to improve your exam study strategies, or you just want to talk to someone, we have great Peer Mentors in the CAST office that you can meet with by dropping in during our Open Hours or by requesting one through our Student Request Form. I hope that you have a great conclusion to your semester!
(Bio: I am a sophomore out-of-state student studying Creative Writing and Philosophy.)