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female staring at sheet of paper she is holding in one hand while holding pencil in the other hand

In a Faculty Focus article, Dr. Linda Shadiow and Dr. Maryellen Weimer suggested using end-of-semester evaluations to get information from your students that can help you develop your teaching persona (the slice of your identity that constitutes the “public teaching self.”)

Your teaching persona should be created from a series of choices made with the aim of enhancing student learning. In the article Drs. Shadiow and Weimer write,

By the end of a semester, we have a sense of how a course went and what activities and actions supported student learning. But through some painful experiences we’ve learned that sometimes what we thought happened was contradicted by what students experienced.

Getting a “learner-sighted” view of the course-experience can add to your understanding of the learning environment, including aspects of your teaching persona that have framed it.

The authors suggest you begin by telling students that you’re asking questions only they can answer. Explain that this is feedback that can help you become a teacher who helps students learn more effectively. Here is their sample note that introduces students to the concept of evaluating the course experience and some examples of sentence stems that can yield useful information:

Your insights into your learning in this course can help me see our course from your side of the desk. Please respond to any three of the statements below (more if you’d like). Submit these anonymously; I will use them as I plan for my courses next semester.

In this course …

it most helped my learning of the content when…because…
it would have helped my learning of the content if…because…
the assignment that contributed the most to my learning was… because…
the reading that contributed the most to my learning was… because…
the kinds of homework problems that contributed most to my learning were…because…
the approach I took to my own learning that contributed the most for me was…because…
the biggest obstacle for me in my learning the material was… because…
a resource I know about that you might consider using is…because…
I was most willing to take risks with learning new material when… because…
during the first day, I remember thinking…because…
what I think I will remember five years from now is…because…

What are good ways to gain insights from student feedback? Put some distance between the course and the feedback. It’s particularly beneficial to review the feedback when selecting course materials, developing assignments, and constructing the syllabus for the next semester. Another option is to have a colleague compile the results and return them to you prior to planning for the next semester.

For more information read the Faculty Focus article, A New Twist on End-of-Semester Evaluations.

Additionally, Brightspace has a survey tool that allows you to get anonymous feedback from your students. You can get more information about using Brightspace surveys in my Get Feedback from your Students tip.

1

picture of a person's hand marking on a survey

Instructors can create surveys in Brightspace and use the statistics tools to monitor current course trends, seek opinions, and assess user satisfaction.

Surveys are an excellent way to solicit feedback from learners regarding any aspect of a course. You can gather anonymous or non-anonymous opinions and information from users. Unlike Quizzes, survey questions do not have to have right or wrong answers and Likert-style rating questions are possible.

Some examples of the types of uses for surveys are: seeking feedback on the effectiveness of active learning exercises, the need for clarification of course material, and/or seeking suggestions for course improvement.

Follow these steps to do it.

To create a survey:

  1. On the NavBar, click Activities, then click Surveys.
  2. On the Manage Surveys page, click New Survey.
  3. Enter a Name and select additional settings for your survey (e.g. choose the option to give instant feedback and/or make results anonymous).
  4. To add questions directly to the survey, click Add/Edit Questions. Alternatively, you can add questions from the Question Library.
  5. Click Done Editing Questions to return to the survey page.
  6. Click the Restrictions tab to modify the survey's availability.
  7. Change the survey status to Active.
  8. Specify a date range for the survey, if appropriate.
  9. Set the attempts allowed for the survey.
  10. Click Save and Close.

To track survey progress and results:

Based on how you have set up the survey properties, you might see a list of all users or just the overall survey results with anonymous responses.

  1. On the NavBar, click Activities, then click Surveys.
  2. On the Manage Surveys page, click the context menu next to the name of your survey and click Statistics.
  3. In the Users tab, search for users and their listed attempt types. You can restrict your search of survey results by attempt in the Attempts tab.
  4. To view a specific user's results, click on an individual attempt. To view the number of attempts per question within a survey, click View Overall Results at the bottom of the page.

Want more information?

Setup a Survey (video)
Track Survey Progress and Results
Monitor Course Trends and Assess Satisfaction

Question Library Quick Reference Guide (pdf)
Benefits of Question Library (video)
Create a New Question (video)
Import Questions into Question Library (video)

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s "Tests and Surveys" training focused on using tests, surveys, and self-assessments in Brightspace.

in case you missed it

In case you missed this week’s training sessions or if you attended one of the training sessions and want to recap what was covered, you can review these resources:

Our training continues the week after Thanksgiving. The next training sessions will focus on setting up your Grade Book and using the Rubrics Tool in Brightspace. Please visit our events page for workshop details and to RSVP for upcoming Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Migration FAQs
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

by Janice Florent

female staring at sheet of paper she is holding in one hand while holding pencil in the other hand

In a recent Faculty Focus article, Dr. Linda Shadiow and Dr. Maryellen Weimer suggested using end-of-semester evaluations to get information from your students that can help you develop your teaching persona (the slice of your identity that constitutes the “public teaching self.”)

Your teaching persona should be created from a series of choices made with the aim of enhancing student learning. In the article Drs. Shadiow and Weimer write,

By the end of a semester, we have a sense of how a course went and what activities and actions supported student learning. But through some painful experiences we’ve learned that sometimes what we thought happened was contradicted by what students experienced.

Getting a “learner-sighted” view of the course-experience can add to your understanding of the learning environment, including aspects of your teaching persona that have framed it.

The authors suggest you begin by telling students that you’re asking questions only they can answer. Explain that this is feedback that can help you become a teacher who helps students learn more effectively. Here is their sample note that introduces students to the concept of evaluating the course experience and some examples of sentence stems that can yield useful information:

Your insights into your learning in this course can help me see our course from your side of the desk. Please respond to any three of the statements below (more if you’d like). Submit these anonymously; I will use them as I plan for my courses next semester.

In this course …

it most helped my learning of the content when…because…
it would have helped my learning of the content if…because…
the assignment that contributed the most to my learning was… because…
the reading that contributed the most to my learning was… because…
the kinds of homework problems that contributed most to my learning were…because…
the approach I took to my own learning that contributed the most for me was…because…
the biggest obstacle for me in my learning the material was… because…
a resource I know about that you might consider using is…because…
I was most willing to take risks with learning new material when… because…
during the first day, I remember thinking…because…
what I think I will remember five years from now is…because…

What are good ways to gain insights from student feedback? Put some distance between the course and the feedback. It’s particularly beneficial to review the feedback when selecting course materials, developing assignments, and constructing the syllabus for the next semester. Another option is to have a colleague compile the results and return them to you prior to planning for the next semester.

For more information read the Faculty Focus article, A New Twist on End-of-Semester Evaluations.

Additionally, Blackboard has a survey tool that allows you to get anonymous feedback from your students. You can get more information about using Blackboard surveys in my Get Feedback from your Students tip.

2

image showing person taking a survey

You can use Blackboard to get feedback from your students. The Survey Manager allows you to create anonymous non-graded surveys. You can get statistical analysis of the responses provided by your students as a whole but you cannot see how a student answered a particular question. Some examples of the types of uses for surveys are: seeking feedback on the effectiveness of active learning exercises, the need for clarification of course material, and/or seeking suggestions for course improvement.

Follow these steps to do it.

Making surveys available to your students is a two-step process. You must create the survey first and then deploy it.

Create Survey:

  1. Goto the [Control Panel] for the course, click on [Course Tools] to expand it and then click on [Tests, Surveys, and Pools].
  2. Click [Surveys].
  3. On the Survey Manager page, click [Build Survey].
  4. On the Survey Information page, enter the survey Name, Description, and Instructions.
  5. Click [Submit].
  6. On the Survey Canvas page, roll your mouse over [Create Question], choose the appropriate question type, and then enter your survey question. Click [Submit] to save the question. Repeat this step to add all of your survey questions.
  7. Click [Ok] to exit the survey creation process.

Deploy Survey:

  1. Turn Edit Mode ON.
  2. Navigate to the Content Area where you want the students to go to take the survey.
  3. Roll your mouse over [Assessments] and click on [Survey].
  4. On the Create Survey page, select the survey from the Add an Existing Survey box and click [Submit].
  5. On the Survey Options page, specify the survey availability and other settings.
  6. Click [Submit].

Analyze Results:

  1. Goto the [Control Panel] for the course and click on [Grade Center] to expand it. Click on [Full Grade Center].
  2. Locate the survey column in the Grade Center. Roll your mouse over the survey column heading and click on the arrow on the right of the survey column heading and then click on [Attempts Statistics].
  3. Review the survey results.
  4. Click OK at the bottom of the page to return to the Grade Center.

Download Results:

  1. Goto the [Control Panel] for the course and click on [Grade Center] to expand it. Click on [Full Grade Center].
  2. Locate the survey column in the Grade Center. Roll your mouse over the survey column heading and click on the arrow on the right of the survey column heading and then click on [Download Results]. This option allows you to compile the questions and answers in a spreadsheet to review offline.

Want more information?

Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
About Tests, Surveys, and Pools
Explore Blackboard’s On Demand Learning Center.
Try these Blackboard How-To documents.
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Blackboard’s Survey Manager allows you to create anonymous non-graded surveys. Surveys allow you to get feedback from your students on any topic. Survey questions are anonymous, so your students can feel free to respond honestly to the survey questions. You can get statistical analysis of the responses provided by your students as a whole but you cannot see how a student answered a particular question. Some examples of the types of uses for surveys are: seeking feedback on the effectiveness of active learning exercises, the need for clarification of course material, and/or seeking suggestions for course improvement.

Follow these steps to do it.
Making surveys available to your students is a two step process. You have to create the survey first and then deploy it.

Create Survey: To create a survey get into the [Control Panel] and select [Survey Manager] located under Assessment. Click on the [Add Survey] button on the toolbar. Enter a name for the survey in the name field. Enter a description and instructions for the survey and then click Submit. Once in the survey canvas, click on [Creation Settings] to select default settings to be available when creating the survey questions and then click submit. Choose the question type in the Add field and then click the GO button to enter a survey question. Follow the instructions for entering the survey question. Repeat this process to add each question to your survey. Click OK when you have entered all your survey questions. You will be returned to the Survey Manager. Click OK to be returned to the Control Panel.

Deploy Survey: To deploy a survey you will have to add the survey to a content area. Get into the [Control Panel]. Assuming the content area you want to post your survey to is shown in the content area, you should click on the link for that content area in the Control Panel. Next select [Survey] from the drop down menu that on the right side of the toolbar and then click the [Go] button. Select the survey to be added to the content area from the list. Click OK. Click the [Modify the Survey options] link. Select the [Yes] radio button to make the survey available. Choose the availability and presentation options for your survey. Click the Submit button and then click OK.

Note: If the content area you want to deploy your survey is not shown in the Control Panel content areas you will have to create it by modifying the course menu. Refer to Tip #7 for instructions on Customizing the Course Menu.

Analyze Survey Results: You can view/analyze the survey results by getting into the [Control Panel] of the course and click on the [Grade Center] link (located under Assessments). Click on the arrows on the right side of the survey’s column heading and select [Attempts Statistics] from the drop down menu.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional Blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418