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evaluate

Official course evaluations

URL: https://evaluate.uwaterloo.ca

What is evaluate?

evaluate is an online tool for evaluating courses and instructors in a simple and efficient manner, as well as an online repository of survey results which are viewable by instructors and administration.

Why we made it

The evaluate project started off as a simple tool to collect, aggregate, and generate reports about the results for each course and instructor. It was intended to have the results from paper surveys (both historical and new) uploaded and saved in a database for easy referencing, cataloging, and analysis.

As development of evaluate progressed, someone finally asked "Why not collect the data directly on this site, and cut the paper out entirely?"

Since then, the tool has been widely adopted throughout campus, and has become the de-facto method for course evaluations at the University of Waterloo.

Features

Strict Anonymity Policies

No identifying data is every stored with survey responses on evaluate. We use a token system to create a unique survey item for each survey that needs to be filled out (one per student per course). This token allows a student to complete a survey for the specified course, then is deleted the moment that the survey is completed, removing the student's identity, as well as preventing a student from submitting the same survey twice.

With evaluate, the only time a student's identity is even stored in the database is when they have unfinished surveys. This fact also allows us to send reminder emails only to students with remaining surveys.

Student Friendly

evaluate leverages modern web frameworks to ensure the student experience is as painless as possible, and is accessible on as many devices as possible.

API-powered

evaluate utilises the OAT API to streamline the administrative processes involved in course evaluations. Course names, cross-listings, and enrolment are automatically picked up when creating surveys, minimizing user workload and potential mix-ups.

evaluate also offers its own API which allows groups on campus to integrate evaluate's data into their own systems and processes.

Who made it?

The evaluate project was started in the Faculty of Science by the Science Computing department at the behest of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the time. The project has since grown across campus, and has involved many different individuals who have made suggestions, provided opinions, and helped administer the project and bring it to where it is today.

evaluate's development and adoption would not have been possible without the hard work of every faculty on campus, and has now been adopted nearly universally throughout the school.

Contacts

  • Mirko Vucicevich

    mvucicevich@uwaterloo.ca

Contributors

Managers
  • Stefan Idziak


    Associate Dean of Science Computing - Data Steward for project
  • Mirko Vucicevich


    Project designer, primary developer, campus integration

    Currently primary administrator for campus-wide support
  • Developers
  • Daniel Allen


    Data migration / Data quality assurance
  • Co-ops
  • Gurbinder Sandhu


    (W2015) Assisted with general upgrades / javascript overhaul
  • Aritra Spondon Banday


    (F2014) Contributed to cross-faculty data imports and API consistency
  • Jagger Nast


    (S2014) Helped build superuser tools and interfaces for dealing directly with data
  • Suchali Tripathi


    (S2014) Developed a significant portion or original administrative UI
  • Chirag Gada


    (W2014) Assisted with initial cross-faculty and multi-template capabilities