General Contact Information
Office of the Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
One Bernard Baruch Way
New York, NY 10010-5585
135 East 22nd Street, 7th Floor
Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
This email is being sent to all members of the Baruch College faculty.
For an archive of announcements sent from the Associate Provost beginning June 2011, click here.
The results of student evaluations of Baruch’s courses and instructors from the spring 2014 semester are ready for viewing.
Approximately 50% of the students who were invited to respond to the surveys did so and the results from any students who were dropped from a course (or who dropped the course on their own) have been eliminated. That 50% represents a reduction from an average of 70% who responded in spring 2013 when the evaluations were administered in class. 50% is a good result for a first online administration, considering that it was handled with almost no advertising and with no special incentives to participate. In upcoming semesters we plan to advertise and to discuss potential incentives with the faculty senate.
The move online has coincided with a reduction in the mean scores on our evaluations by an average of .11 points over the mean from the past four years. In other words, members of the faculty who “typically” receive a score of 4.2 (on our 1-5 scale) in answer to a specific question might well see a score of 4.1 (rounded up from 4.09) in the reports for spring 2014. Whether this drop reflects the reduction from 70% to 50% participation, relates specifically to filling out the survey online, reflects a genuine shift in student opinion, is a coincidence, or is the result of some combination of the foregoing is not known, but please keep this overall drop in mind when comparing results from spring 2014 to previous semesters.
To view your own results including comments, login at: https://www.smartevals.com/login.aspx?s=baruch. You will be asked for your Baruch username and password—the same ones you use to log into computers on campus. At that site you will be able to see your quantitative results as well as any comments that your students wrote. Only you have access to those comments.
To see the quantitative results (i.e., without the comments) of all faculty who have not “opted-out” of these postings, you can use the link that is part of the Student Life website: www.baruch.cuny.edu/studentaffairs/StudentLife/evaluations/s14/ From off-campus, this link requires authentication; on campus, the user will already have been authenticated to get onto the network.
Depending on how you log in and any other pages on the SmartEvals site that you visit, you might see references to various options/reports (including user videos) that are not yet accessible. Some of these will become available in future semesters.
Answers to some anticipated questions
Why is my course not listed?
We suppressed all of the course evaluations taught by faculty who submitted an opt-out request. Some faculty used the opt-out form to submit a request for courses that they did not teach. To be safe we kept all of their courses off, but it is easy to add them back, if necessary. To request that a course be added, please contact Denyse.Ramkaran@baruch.cuny.edu. In addition, we followed the tradition of not including courses with fewer than five students enrolled. (A few might have slipped by, but only the instructor and department chair will see the results.) If a course had more than five students, but no students responded to the survey, then there is no report. This happened in at least two dozen cases.
Why are the section numbers different from those we know?
The section numbers that appear in the evaluations (e.g., Section 1, Section 2, etc. – instead of CMW, LMFA, etc.) are the section numbers for the courses in CUNYfirst for spring 2014. When the spring courses were migrated into CUNYfirst during our implementation in April these were the section codes that were assigned. This is a one-time “transitional” artifact that will apply only to spring 2014 courses. The 7-week courses that were run from BOSS data as a test for SmartEvals have the original alphanumeric section codes. Those courses were also re-generated with new section numbers in CUNYfirst. One of the tasks involved in preparing the spring evaluation reports was to eliminate these as duplicates. We hope we have done so.
Why are my evaluation questions numbered 20-37 instead of 1-18?
The question numbering in evaluations for courses that have multiple instructors is continuous because we opted to have the two surveys in such courses appear on the same page rather than have students select an instructor from a button embedded in the survey form. For spring 2014 courses, CUNYfirst did not distinguish between lecture and recitation sections or lecture and lab sessions. This resulted in more instances of what appeared to be team-taught courses—another artifact of the transitional semester in CUNYfirst. The summer and fall evaluations break out labs and recitations from the lecture, so there will be far fewer cases of piggy-backed evaluations with numbering that starts at 20.
Why did this take so long?
The fact that our move to online evaluations coincided with our transition semester to CUNYfirst was the source of multiple issues that needed to be resolved before the evaluations could be posted. Some are alluded to above. One that meant a delay of more than a month after the end of the semester was the process of eliminating all responses we received from students who had dropped courses (W’s) or who had been dropped with WU’s. These issues should be more easily and quickly resolved in future semesters. Please note that even after all of these delays we have managed to release the results more than a week before the fall semester begins—a record.
Please ask Denyse Ramkaran, Director of our Office of Testing and Evaluation: Denyse.Ramkaran@baruch.cuny.edu.
All best wishes—and welcome back!
Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President
Baruch College, CUNY
646-660-6504 (phone); 646-660-6531 (fax)