End-of-Course (EOC) Survey Goals

Successful communication of knowledge and ways of knowing are a central part of the mission of Northeastern University. Much of this communication takes place in the classroom and is directed by our faculty. There are many ways to organize a course and to be a good teacher and there are many ways to measure successful teaching. One way is to ask learners for their opinion of the course and what they learned.

The College of Professional Studies’ EOC survey was designed to be delivered with a new, web-based, online survey system which is run by an outside vendor, EvaluationKIT. When this survey was developed, it was agreed that it would be given anonymously and that the results would be published promptly for the NU community.

Uses for Survey Results

Improve the learning experience at NU.

Receiving feedback shortly after teaching a class helps faculty learn how their course and their teaching are perceived by students. Many teachers collect feedback from students as a course proceeds, however, since our survey is anonymous and clearly separated from grades, it can have the advantage that students feel freer to offer honest assessment. When this feedback is provided in a timely manner, faculty can use it to examine their methodology and style and use it to inform some aspects of their teaching plans as they prepare for the next course.

Provide guidance for students to choose courses and instructors.

To the extent that students can choose their courses and/or their instructors they should be able to do so based on data rather than hearsay. In fact, the main reward for student participation in the EOC survey is the promise of useful data. Although not perfect, EOC survey results can be expected to be more reliable than the grapevine or outside surveys such as those provided by websites like ratemyprofessor.com.

Measure overall student satisfaction with teaching at NU.

The aggregated survey results for each academic term provide a “big picture” view of how we are doing in this important part of the NU mission. They are just one measure that can be used to justify resource allocation and assess academic quality.

Help in personnel decisions.

EOC surveys will be used as one of the measures of successful teaching.  Other important measures which should be used to complement EOC surveys can include: peer review by individuals or committees that visit classes and review course materials; assessment of student work by faculty, peers, or outside experts; descriptions of teaching philosophy and innovations; use of the Blackboard learning management system to document materials and methods, and course readiness, course quality reviews, and other term-by-term evaluations reported by instructional design staff.