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New online course evaluation system declared a success

The online system for evaluating courses in four schools, which was launched at the end of autumn quarter, has been a "clear success," according to Registrar Roger Printup.

Close to 89 percent of students enrolled in lectures and seminars in the schools of Humanities and Sciences, Education, Earth Sciences and Engineering used the Axess-based course evaluation system in the fall. In contrast, the response rate during the previous two years, when the old paper-based evaluation system was in place, was in the 50 percent range.

The new online system also allowed faculty to have access to their evaluations at least four weeks sooner than they had under the old system. The new evaluation process is the result of a yearlong project by the Registrar's Office to replace an optical-scanner system, which consumed more than 50,000 paper forms each quarter.

Student evaluations are an important component of the academic process at the university, Printup said. Faculty members and instructors use the evaluations to make improvements to their courses and to determine which teaching methods are successful. Departments use the evaluations to make decisions about future course offerings.

Students will be able to evaluate winter quarter courses March 12-25.

The School of Law, Graduate School of Business and School of Medicine have separate systems for evaluating courses.