The first instrument used in the overall evaluation of the effectiveness of all academic programs including distance education is the Institutional Effectiveness Report whose goal is to integrate planning, evaluation, and budgeting processes into a comprehensive program. This program not only encompasses the teaching and learning process but the array of administrative and support services which sustain the core activities of the University. Every academic and administrative support unit of the University demonstrates planning, evaluation, and the use of results to improve programs and services.
At the beginning of the academic year, all academic departments meet and review their education programs. Faculty members of each department lead the assessment efforts in their respective areas. At the same time, all administrative and educational support units review and revise their assessment procedures. All assessment plans are in line with the institutional mission as well as the college/school department unit mission.
Assessment of academic programs is conducted every semester with the results being used to improve the programs in future semesters. All academic, administrative and educational support unit assessment reports may be found in the Office of Institutional Assessment, Research and Planning web page.
Distance education courses are assessed by using the University of Washington Instructional Assessment System online course evaluation instrument. The instrument gathers data regarding student satisfaction with the online experience. The instrument is administered electronically three weeks prior to the end of the semester. The responses range from Excellent (Score of 5) to Very Poor (Score of 0). Open-ended comments may also be submitted by the students. Results are reported to faculty, department chairs, deans and the provost. The department chair is responsible for coordinating a feedback session with the faculty member to review the results and address concerns. The Office of Institutional Assessment, Research and Planning coordinates the evaluation process and maintains all evaluation data on their web page.
Additional evaluation data is also compiled at the end of each semester such as retention rates, grade distributions, and enrollment.
The Office of Instructional Technology implements an instrument for evaluation purposes that addresses support services received from this office to students in online courses.
Students at the University have access to the various computer labs located on campus. At the end of each fall and spring semester, feedback is collected from students on the lab facilities and support.
Faculty are provided access to a third-party presentation/discussion tool, known as VoiceThread, which is supported by Instructional Technology and Distance Education Services. At the end of each fall and spring semester, feedback is collected from faculty on the ease of use and support for this tool.