Course Evaluations: Faculty

Overview

Bellarmine University fully transitioned from paper to electronic course evaluations at the start of the 2013-2014 academic year. With only a few exceptions, all undergraduate and graduate courses use online evaluations powered by eXplorance Blue. The system is managed by a team composed of staff from Academic Affairs, IT, and IR&E. Questions about the electronic evaluations should be directed to the Bellarmine Course Evaluations email account, or to members of the IR&E staff. We also encourage you to look through the faculty handbook for course evaluations or the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the typical timeline for the course evaluation?
Instructors will receive an initial email inviting them to customize the evaluation with personalized questions. These will be sent starting at the 60% mark of the course; this date is dynamically generated by eXplorance based on the earliest and latest class meeting dates (in the case of undergraduate courses, this does not include final exam week). The customization period is referred to as "Question Personalization" or the "QP" task in the system. This period extends through the 80% mark of the course. One reminder email will be sent. The deadline is always at noon on the day when the course meetings reach the 80% threshold.

The invitation email also includes a link to the "Subject View Management" or "SVM" task. This is where you may change the default timing of the evaluation period for any course, including options for manually stopping or restarting it.

On the same day as the QP period ends—at the 80% mark of the course—students will begin receiving their invitations to complete the evaluation. This occurs at approximately 3 PM on the same afternoon as the noon deadline for instructors to submit personalized questions. Students will not receive their invitations, nor any of the subsequent reminders, if the instructor has manually stopped the evaluation or changed the default timing to a different date.

More detailed information about the course evaluation timing can be found below or in the faculty handbook for course evaluations.

What if I misplaced one of the email invitations that I received from the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness to enter my learning objective questions, change the evaluation's default timing or stop/restart the evaluation?
You may send an email to the Course Evaluation Team (course.evals@bellarmine.edu) to request that the invite be re-sent or log in to the course evaluation system directly at https://explorance.bellarmine.edu/blue. Your Bellarmine single sign-on credentials—the ones that you typically provide to log in to a campus computer or One Bellarmine—will provide access.

What is the effect of the [Finalize] button on the SVM task page?
This indicates to Blue that you are not planning to change the default timing of this course's evaluations and do not intend to monitor the progress of students completing your evaluations. Do not click this button if you wish to do either thing! The personalized learning objective questions will be saved on the page where you entered them, irrespective of whether you click the [Finalize] button or not.

When will I receive the summary report of my course evaluations?
You can expect to receive your evaluation summaries within one to two weeks of the due date for final grade submissions to the Registrar’s Office. Even though the reports can be generated earlier, reports cannot be distributed prior to the release of final grades for the protection of students.

Is there a minimum enrollment a course must have to be evaluated?
Yes. A threshold of five enrollees must be crossed in order for a course to be evaluated in order to protect the identity of students in the course.

Can my course be excluded from course evaluations? We typically do not assess it in our department.
Certain courses are already excluded based on instructional method (see p. 2 of the course evaluation faculty handbook). If you wish to exclude a course that does not fall under the list on p. 2, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs or the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness.

Will my course be evaluated even though I forgot to enter my learning objective questions?
Yes. The standard instrument will still be sent to your students; however, specific learning objective questions will not be included.

I am having difficulty entering my learning objective questions. Can someone provide assistance?
Yes. Any one of the members of the Course Evaluation Team (see p. 1) will be happy to provide assistance or training. Also, many faculty are now familiar with this process, and it is likely that one of your colleagues can help.

Are the evaluations confidential?
Yes. The course evaluation system tracks who has and has not responded, which allows reminders to be sent specifically to non-respondents, but the identities of students are never revealed to faculty or staff.

Can I change the actual dates of the evaluation period for my course(s)?
While you cannot override the default start/end dates for a given course's evaluation in advance, all instructors have the effective ability to change the timing from scheduled to manual. This, in effect, allows you to stop the invitation emails from being generated to students until you restart the evaluation (see p. 9-10 of the course evaluation faculty handbook).