Response rates are a common concern when assessing teaching with course evaluation instruments. There are many factors that affect response rates for any method of delivery. Although the literature shows that response rate does not materially affect aggregate results, higher response rates instill confidence in the process. Thus, we should aim to keep response rates as high as possible.

Everyone can play a part in communicating the importance of course evaluations. Students will receive email prompts from the Office of the Registrar; faculty can stress the importance of the evaluations in assisting them in improving their courses; and students can be proactive in evaluating courses and encouraging their peers to do the same.

Things you can do to improve response rates:

  • Use the Date-Time Selection feature to restrict the evaluation period to class timeIf you meet with your class on campus or online at specific times throughout the semester, you can restrict the evaluation's availability to a specific day and time. The Blue Response syste is fully accessible from smartphones, tablets and laptops so students can complete the questionnaire if lab computers are not available.
  • Use the Course Evaluation Tasks menu item in Canvas: Add the Course Evaluation Tasks item to the Canvas navigation menu. This reminds students to complete evaluations and enables easier access than relying on an email.
  • Explain why it is important: Explain why evaluations are important to you and important to them. Even though the students may hear this from multiple professors, it is important for you to make a personal appeal to students to complete the evaluations.
  • Communicate via multiple modes: Announce it in class. Send an email. Hand out a piece of paper with instructions and a brief explanation of why it’s important. 
  • Remind them: The Blue system will automatically send reminder emails to students until they complete the evaluation or the evaluation period closes. You can enhance those reminders by making multiple announcements and sending your own messages. 

Monitor your response rate through Canvas or MyMadison

As a faculty member, you have the opportunity to monitor your class response rate in real time through Canvas or MyMadison. Please note that this does not allow you to see which students have responded.


Click on the Faculty tab in MyMadison and then the Course Evaluation icon. Click on the Response Rate button in the left menu as seen in the image below:



Then click on the Response Rate tab to see your response rates. You can view these throughout the evaluation period. Note that this does not allow you to see which students have responded.

Click on the Response Rate tab to monitor rates.


After you add "Course Evaluation Tasks" to the navigation menu in your Canvas course (see Add Course Evaluation to Canvas) and your evaluation is in progress, you simply select the Course Evaluation Tasks link in the menu and then select Monitor Response Rate.

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