Data extraction and preparation
The course and instructor data for a given semester are extracted from Banner a few weeks after the start of classes.
In the Fall and Spring semesters, these data are prepared by OIRSA and reviewed by each department with the help of the department coordinators. The departments help identify anything that needs to be changed, such as changes in instructor, crosslistings not identified in Banner, short courses not yet in the system, etc. Departments also help identify TAs (who are often not listed in Banner as instructor of record), practicum courses that require a different evaluation, or instructors who are coordinating a course but don’t have a teaching responsibility. Finally, they help us identify courses that should not be evaluated, for example dissertation courses, private music courses, independent study, etc. Note that since the Fall 2018 semester, courses with fewer than 5 students enrolled are automatically excluded from the evaluation process.
The data for all students enrolled in courses marked for evaluation are extracted from Banner towards the end of the semester, after the last day for students to drop the courses with a “W”.
In the Fall and Spring semesters, course evaluations are administered during the last week of classes, opening on Saturday at 12:00AM and closing on Friday at 11:59PM. However, instructors have the option of choosing one of three 72-hour window options during that week, if they prefer a short evaluation window. To do so, instructors have to send their window preference to OIRSA before a specific date communicated earlier, usually about a month before the start of the evaluations.
For courses that do not follow the regular semester schedule, such as is the case for a number of summer courses, course evaluations are administered during the last few days of class. The length of the evaluation window is dependent on the length of the course.
All evaluation windows close before final exams.
All course evaluations use a set of core questions: https://oirsa.lehigh.edu/core-questions. Note that TAs and instructors of Practicum courses are evaluated using a slightly different set of core questions.
In the Fall and Spring semesters, instructors are able to request custom questions in addition to the set of core questions being asked. The custom questions can be single-choice, multiple-choice, or open-ended text. These custom questions have to be sent to OIRSA before a specific date communicated earlier, usually about a month before the start of the evaluations.
Administering the evaluations
All the course, instructor and student data are uploaded into EvaluationKit, a third-party course evaluation software tool. The evaluation window is an attribute of the course and therefore is also provided to EvaluationKit.
For each course, at the start of the evaluation window, the tool generates an email to the students enrolled in this course letting them know that the course evaluation form is open, and inviting them to log in and complete the evaluation. When a student logs in, they see all the evaluation forms that are open at that moment, for the courses they are enrolled in.
The tool also sends reminders to non-completers on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Student evaluations are captured in EvaluationKit and the system tracks who has and has not completed the evaluations. However, the individual responses are de-identified and confidential. These evaluations are then summarized at the course level, and are made available to instructors shortly after final grades are submitted.
Last updated: June 12, 2019