Course Evaluations, Assessment and Academic Integrity

Thank you for your ongoing work and leadership during the covid-19 disruption.  I am profoundly grateful for your efforts to connect with and support your students in this stressful, difficult situation. In the last week we have been getting many questions, particularly about course evaluations and assessment.  In responses, here is guidance along with links for additional resources. 

Continue with Course Evaluations

Even with the covid-19 disruption, we will continue our current practice of collecting student course evaluations for the spring term. We recognize limitations of student course evaluations – they can overweight popularity or glibness and penalize rigor.  They have been shown to systematically undervalue courses taught by instructors from underrepresented groups.  Still, evaluations often contain information that can be helpful in improving instruction particularly given the unique circumstances we are experiencing.  Hence, we will continue to collect student course evaluations, not only to comply with Board of Regent policy, but also to learn more about the student perspective on their classroom experience this semester. Feedback will help us to improve and better deliver our instructional mission under both normal and extreme circumstances.

We understand that student course evaluations can also be used as input to assessing instruction and instructors. We strongly appeal for tolerance and common sense in the use of Spring student course evaluations for these purposes.   

For those departments already using the AEFIS system, continuing course evaluations will be straight forward.  For those who have used paper or other systems, now is the time to shift to the AEFIS system if at all possible.  Departments should work with the Student Learning Assessment team to make the transition. Please contact the team through instructionalcontinuity@provost.wisc.edu.

Assessment and Academic Integrity

We have also added a resource on the Instructional Continuity website to help support instructors assess student learning remotely. This resource suggests ways to promote academic integrity, including the use of the campus’ new digital proctoring service, Examity. We are working to fast-track the implementation of Examity and make it available to campus by April 13, 2020. Training opportunities and KnowledgeBase resources will be available soon. These updates and more will be posted at: instructionalcontinuity.wisc.edu.

Finally, we will be providing additional information and guidelines for instructors and others next week around final exams and scheduling.

For questions on any of these areas, or other instructional needs, please contact: instructionalcontinuity@provost.wisc.edu.

As always, thank you for all you do.

– John Karl Scholz, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs