The Office of eLearning recently initiated a soft launch of the Qualtrics QClassroom course evaluation survey tool for classes taught in the first seven-week term of Fall 2021.
eLearning partnered with IT Services to navigate the complex purchase and integration of QClassroom (for course evaluations), which provides a robust delivery and management that will take the important function of university course evaluations to the next level at UA Little Rock. The soft launch evaluations were sent to students for all faculty teaching in the respective first seven-week term courses. QClassroom is a special Qualtrics tool specifically for course evaluations.
eLearning creates course shells in Blackboard for every single course and its sections each semester; no matter their modality. Historically, eLearning has utilized those shells within the Blackboard Enterprise Survey software tool to provide course surveys.
Before the pandemic, the demand from academic departments for course shell surveys continued to increase until it became an integral role for eLearning; even though the office was not mandated to support the process.
The Enterprise Survey tool in Blackboard has limited functionality and labor-intensive manual processes. It takes a long time to distribute evaluations to the academic units, which causes delays for many faculty members and department chairs in completing their required tasks before the semester ends; especially dealing with required annual review of faculty.
At the start of the pandemic, while recognizing the need to improve existing methods, eLearning suggested to the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Chancellor that eLearning take the responsibility of performing all course evaluations for the entire university; including the Law School. This became a critical task given that face-to-face courses were not meeting. With the Chancellor’s support, a COVID-19 Course Evaluation Task Force was created to expand eLearning’s role in course evaluations and also determine how the course evaluation management could be improved for the university. As a result, the following university leadership groups participated in the demonstration of QClassroom: Provost’s Deans Council, Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Online Campus Advisory Board, Office of IT Services, and eLearning Blackboard Support Division.
Shortly after, the Provost approved the purchase and integration of Qualtrics QClassroom in order to streamline and improve the overall quality of course evaluations at UA Little Rock. Some of the key benefits to this new tool are:
- eLearning can efficiently manage these processes for all of Academic Affairs as a formal office function, centralizing the importance of course evaluations in one place.
- Centralization of the course evaluation process eliminates any departmental/college costs for conducting their own course evaluations (i.e. staff, scantron sheets, etc.).
- Reduces instances where a course is not covered based on an error (e.g. adjunct not knowing to do them).
- Centralization speeds up the time for academic departments to access course evaluation results; the results are provided immediately via Qclassroom.
David Montague (of eLearning) commented “The level of partnership by all parties on this project was amazing. Clearly, this selection, purchase and implementation is a great example of the university’s leadership supporting wise technology purchases to address university needs.” More information about the full rollout of Qualtrics QClassroom will be available in the near future.