COURSE BAROMETERS: LESSONS GAINED FROM THE WIDESPREAD USE OF ANONYMOUS ONLINE FORMATIVE EVALUATION

COURSE BAROMETERS: LESSONS GAINED FROM THE WIDESPREAD USE OF ANONYMOUS ONLINE FORMATIVE EVALUATION

This paper shares the lessons learned through the use of course barometers since 1999. A course barometer is a web-based application that allows students to make anonymous comments about their experience in a course during the term. Drawing on four years of barometer use, evaluations and stories this paper examines the benefits, problems and approaches taken to improve the course barometers. While the course barometers have been useful there have been a number of issues including: limited student contributions, inappropriate student contributions, widely varying staff perceptions, and potential legal and union issues.

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