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Encouraging Participation

Faculty who are achieving the highest response rates are either allowing in-class time to complete the forms or they are using incentives.  Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  1. Reserve time in one of your scheduled class periods (for classes that meet face-to-face) at a time that seems best suited for the form’s completion. Then encourage students to bring devices to class that day – laptops, i-pads/tablets, and smart phones all work. If there is a nearby computer lab, you may wish to reserve that.  
  2. Announce the availability of the course evaluation forms once the administration is launched. You will receive an e-mail a few days ahead with this information.
  3. Remind students to complete the evaluation, especially if you will not be allotting in-class time.
  4. Let students know that you value and use this input. Telling students how you have used this input in the past is a great strategy, as you will have provided a specific example of an improvement that resulted from the opinions of your students.
  5. Offer an incentive. Options might include bringing pizza or donuts or ice cream to a particular class period when a specified response rate has been achieved – such as 90 or 95 percent. Some faculty award a few points, and all say the few points have little or no impact on final grades; others eliminate a missed homework assignment grade or a low quiz score when a student reports completion (which is another technique they use regardless).
  6. We send reminders to students who have not completed almost daily, and we always see an uptick in response rates after this messaging. We also offer many nice prizes with random drawings.


  1. Ferris has been achieving between 55-60% completion rates, which is similar to other universities’ results and better than some.
  2. Many faculty are achieving in the 90s or even 100% with the ideas above.
  3. If fewer than 3 responses are completed for a particular course, a report will not be produced.
  4. Students surveyed in the first year overwhelmingly supported the notion that their names not be released; thus, we do not provide information about which students completed or did not.
  5. Thus, incentives that rely on students’ completion need to be framed in percentage of overall completion OR you could ask students to send a note that reads something like “eval complete”; however, this negates the anonymity students prefer noted in 4 above.