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How Do I Choose the Best Course Evaluation Software?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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Instructors and school administrators use course evaluations to assess the effectiveness of classes. When they use course evaluation software, they perform assessments on a computer, which often is a more efficient way to gather and analyze data. Instead of using paper evaluations that they must record and file, they can save time and sometimes money by uploading evaluations directly into computer programs where scores are tallied, which allows them to generate charts and graphs that illustrate results. To choose the best course evaluation software, it is important first to make sure that you understand which aspect of a course you are trying to evaluate. A teacher who wants to know how well his or her students are doing might choose software that is different from that of an administrator who wants to analyze student satisfaction reports.

If you need course evaluation software that allows you to evaluate your students, consider the level of your students. Teachers who work with elementary school students might be able to purchase software that includes exams that already have been written by education experts. These might be basic writing, reading and math exams. It is common for most students at this age to be at similar skill levels. For instance, there might be an average reading level for most students in the second grade. This kind of course evaluation software also can be helpful for foreign language instructors.

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Instructors of advanced courses, however, might need course evaluation software that allows them to create their own exams. As class material becomes more complex, it is common for instructors to have different methods for teaching concepts, as well as different areas of concentration. You can find course evaluation software that enables you to create multiple choice exams, short answer questions and essay questions. Test formats such as multiple choice often can be automatically graded by course evaluation software, whereas essay and short answer tests must be read and evaluated by instructors.

When school administrators want to use course evaluation software to assess the effectiveness of classes, they should find programs that enable them to store, access and share data. For instance, they might use systems that allow them to compile and analyze student test scores so that they can look for changes that show improvement or decline. Administrators who are interested in learning about student satisfaction can either distribute paper evaluations that they must enter into evaluation programs or allow students to fill out satisfaction surveys on online interfaces. After they have been submitted, surveys can be automatically uploaded into a database.

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