Implementing an Online Academic Evaluation System

Implementing an Online Academic Evaluation System

William S. Lightfoot
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch247
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The explosive growth of networks and the World Wide Web over the past decade has led to increased adoption of new applications by educational institutions. Critical uses of software including courseware such as Blackboard, WebCT, and others have led to an increase in computer literacy amongst faculty and staff. Consistent with this increased literacy, newer applications including the use of the web for tests, surveys, and student evaluation has been increasing. There are many benefits of using web-based surveying and online evaluation techniques (see Table 1). As Mehta and Sivadas (1995) have noted, response times can be reduced from days and weeks to minutes and hours. It is common practice in many universities to have students provide feedback about courses in the form of a questionnaire, at the end of each course. As Felton, Stinson, and Mitchell (2003, p. 2) note, “these surveys are assumed to measure a professor’s performance and successfulness in his or her various classes.” McGourty, Scoles, and Thorpe (2002, p. 5) cited one of the key benefits as the “immediate availability of data for analysis and reporting and more extensive qualitative responses from students to the open-ended questions.” Other studies (see Handwerk, Carson, & Blackwell, 2000; Hmieleski & Champagne, 2000) had similar conclusions. And although not all e-mail users check their e-mail everyday (Kent & Lee, 1999), past research found that e-mail responses generally occurred within the first three days (Comley, 1997; Mehta & Sivadas, 1995).

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