FAQ: Why is the SPOT questionnaire open for two weeks and why does it close prior to exam week?
Why is the SPOT questionnaire open for two weeks and why does it close prior to exam week?
Reading Day (i.e., the day after classes have ended) was selected as the closing date for SPOT based on the following reasons:
- We know from analysis of Virginia Tech data and from the experiences of colleagues at other universities that a two-week open window is important to reach an acceptable response rate. This means that SPOT must be open well before the term ends to allow for such a long window of time.
- Response rates tend to be very poor once students are no longer attending classes. Students move on to other things very quickly once the term is over and are less engaged and willing to take the time to provide feedback.
- As soon as grades start being entered into the Banner system, students can fill out a DARS (degree audit request) form and see their tentative grades. Many faculty members prefer that students complete the SPOT questionnaire before final grades (even in tentative form) are available.
- Finally, this topic has been examined repeatedly in the research literature. Findings indicate that ratings provided by students at the midterm, end-of-term, and even one year after the course ends, are reliable. Students have already formed an impression about the class prior to the midterm, and the research evidence indicates that impression is fairly stable. It would be highly unusual for students to significantly alter their perception of teaching effectiveness based on something that happened during the last week of the term.
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Also see: When are the SPOT evaluation questionnaires made available to students and for how long are they available?