The Senate Educational Policy Committee has been working with the Office of the Provost and CITL over the winter break to develop an early diagnostic tool for instructors to garner feedback from students in Spring, 2021 courses. With awareness of the significant impact the ongoing COVID pandemic has had on all of us, particularly focusing on course delivery and communication between students and instructors, we felt it was important to provide a tool for instructors to know if students are finding critical course information along with other insight into individual courses in a manner that is meant to be useful for faculty and students alike.
Please see Illinois Remote’s website for more information on the Getting Started Spring 2021 Survey.
This survey is available to all instructors of record for Spring 2021 courses with the intention that it should be given to enrolled students at an early point that makes the most sense for the individual course. Ideally, this should be at the point when enrolled students have had an opportunity to review the syllabus and other required course materials while still early enough that the feedback can be collected and utilized by the instructor to make basic adjustments to course design if needed. We recognize that for some courses, this ideal point might be as early as the second or third class meeting; for others, it may not be until the sixth or seventh meeting. Instructors can also customize survey questions, and are encouraged to do so to address specific issues students encountered if they taught the same course in the fall.
The tool is meant to be a helpful resource for instructors to touch base with their students and to tweak the basic features of their teaching method or platform in a timely manner to best facilitate student success in the course. It is not meant to dictate how instructors teach their courses or as an instructor evaluation. The results will be shared back with the instructors of record; they will not be used in any type of performance evaluation or in the promotion and tenure process.
For ease of use, CITL has worked to have the Getting Started Course Survey to be easily imported into Compass and Moodle, so it is available to instructors using either of these learning management systems. If instructors don’t use Compass or Moodle, or if they simply prefer it, Webtools can be used to administer the survey. If there is concern that students have not been able to access the LMS, we encourage using the Webtools survey, emailing the link directly to enrolled students.
Thank you for your assistance in ensuring your faculty are aware of this survey and for encouraging and supporting them in using it. If you or any instructors in your department have questions, please visit Illinois Remote’s survey website and complete the “Contact Us” form.
Linda Moorhouse, Chair, Senate Educational Policy Committee and Professor, School of Music
Kevin Pitts, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor, Department of Physics