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Community Member

Course evaluations

Good afternoon everyone:  ​Lorain County Community College will begin using Canvas for the summer semester beginning May 26.  I am in need of your collective expertise.  What are you mechanism are you all using for course evaluations?  We have been able to do so in ANGEL And are brainstorming for future ideas.    Thank you for your time.  Susan

54 Replies
Learner II

Since this is a nice thread mostly about EvaluationKit, I thought it would be a good place for my question...

We are currently exploring SaaS-type evaluation products, and like EvaluationKit.  However, our IT department has expressed concerns over potential impact to staff.  We anticipate having an "application administrator" that is not in IT, so their role would only involve anything related to data connections, SSO, and other backend tasks.

Can anyone share their experience in terms of the degree of IT resources required to implement and maintain EvaluationKit (or other similar products)?  If you can say anything about the overall workload of managing the application, that would also be helpful. 

Thank you.

Hi Chris,

I think the answer to this will partly depend on how you plan to get data into EvaluationKit...  If you plan on importing from Canvas, and have your courses well named and structured in Canvas, I'd say the resources probably won't be that heavy.

EvaluationKit (and most other similar platforms, I think) has a one-time setup to establish your department structure, and how courses map to those departments (this is where you hopefully already have things well named from your SIS to Canvas).  I was able to do this for UM-Dearborn in a couple hours.  You'll then build your evaluations in the system, and attach them to a particular department or top-level.

Each semester, you'll then make a new project (or copy an existing one), where you setup evaluation dates, and import the courses from Canvas.  This step usually takes an hour or so for me at this point, since I'm mostly just copying existing settings, a first-time run through may take a few hours. I also have our departments do a final step where they'd emove any of the courses they don't want to have evaluated (independent studies, internships, etc).  We don't have university-wide rules around this part, which is why I pass it down to department staff.  I think this takes each department an hour or so to do.

Your experiences might be different depending on the structure of your school and your current evaluation processes (and how closely you want to try to stick to them).  I've found EvaluationKit to be pretty easy to use, and actually somewhat more responsive to change requests (with good justifications included) than Instructure.

Hope this helps a bit!


 @palmarinich ​,

I would have to agree with chriscas​ in regards to the administration of EvaluationKit each term.  Once the initial connections are made, and you have good naming structure for your courses a non-it person would be able to set up the process (with training and documentation).  It took me about an hourish yesterday to setup our EvaluationKit for our spring semester.  It has been a great tool and we have been very happy with it and use it for all courses (face to face and online).  Let me know if you have any other questions would be happy to help.

Thanks, Sam

Community Member

We at UC Berkeley have been using the Blue by Explorance product since 2013 for delivering end-of-term course evaluations for our campus.  What has been very useful to our campus and what have come to appreciate is the flexibility the Blue tool provides in its ability to support a broad range of different evaluation needs and use cases.  We have a fairly decentralized campus with a lot of discretion granted to individual academic units and programs in terms of the content and scheduling of their evaluations.  We have also never encountered issues with load or capacity issues in the Blue software.  Our response rates are typically quite satisfactory most semesters.

The Canvas/Blue LTI integration is fairly straightforward to setup and does allow for easy access for students and instructors into their evaluations for all participating courses.

Overall, we have had good experiences with both the product and with Explorance itself, as they have been flexible and accommodating as our needs have changed over time.

Our institution is beta testing a small number of courses this semester and I was looking to use SurveyMonkey for course evals. 

Were you able to embed the survey in Canvas?  Or did you just email the link to students?  I would prefer having the survey within the lms - if possible. 

Any help appreciated.  :smileyconfused: Smiley Happy

Community Member

At the University of South Florida, we also use Blue by eXplorance for end of the semester course evaluations.

Hi Lecia,

We went with EvaluationKit for our course evaluations beginning Fall 2015. Our response rates have exceeded 50% each semester. We are very pleased with EvaluationKit and the ease of integration with Canvas. I highly recommend it!

Vikki Milton

Chipola College

Hi Candace,

The customer support, services, features (including dashboards), additional products (released formative feedback tool etc.) have been a step ahead of other vendors that have presented demos to me thus far. I have heard from colleagues that CourseEval has improved and expanded their features and products to be more in class with the previous releases from Explorance Blue, but I have not seen a recent demo. I also heard that CourseEval would be releasing their own version of a formative assessment tool (I have not seen this demo either). From my perspective, it seems as though the unique features that large institutions with diverse needs require, if not thought of originally, are implemented quickly with Blue instead of as a response to competition. I know that the centralized option carried weight in the decision making for our flagship campus and the university system followed. We are all now operating in the same evaluation system. We are functioning as both centralized and decentralized within the same evaluation system and able to adjust the features at each level of operation. Sorry for  the delay, I hope this information helps.

Community Member

I'm currently beginning the testing phase to select a new evaluation solution to plug into our Canvas instance here at UNC. Has anyone else tested more than one solution? We're leaning towards EvaluationKIT, but would be willing to give Blue Connector or other products a try.

Evaluation Kit is awesome.

Sent from my iPhone 6