The Carolina Course Evaluation System is a valuable tool for helping schools and units at Carolina learn about the student experience in the classroom. This information can be used to enhance both teaching and learning at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Carolina Course Evaluations is a service sponsored by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost to support schools and departments in conducting student evaluations of courses and instructors efficiently and effectively. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) provides centralized administration and technical support services for the campus. OIRA staff work closely with participating school-level course evaluation coordinators to design and implement local processes that best meet the needs of their instructors and fit with their internal evaluation schedules.

Who can participate in Carolina Course Evaluations? Is it required?

While UNC System Board of Governors policy requires student evaluations to be used as part of faculty performance assessments (UNC Policy Manual, 400.3.1), participation in the Carolina Course Evaluations process is optional. The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost has given Deans the authority to make all decisions concerning the methods and practices used to evaluate courses within their units.

There is no cost to the schools to take advantage of the Carolina Course Evaluations process.  Currently, the following schools and units participate: College of Arts and Sciences, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Education, School of Government, School of Information and Library Science, School of Media and Journalism, School of Medicine – Department of Allied Health Science, School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work.

Some professional schools, such as Medicine, Business, and Law, have their own established mechanisms for carrying out course evaluations.  For more information on your school’s internal requirements or practices related to course and instructor evaluations, please consult with the dean’s office staff.

How does the Carolina Course Evaluations process work?

The Carolina Course Evaluations process is conducted using an online, web-based tool purchased from an outside vendor.  The University utilizes Blue by Explorance. This system provides more flexibility for schools to create and administer their own course evaluations and develop custom reports. Currently all the UNC-Chapel Hill’s schools use Blue with the exception of Kenan-Flagler Business School, School of Dentistry, School of Law, and School of Medicine (except for the Division of Allied Health Sciences and the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics).

In the online course evaluation process, students receive an email inviting them to participate in an evaluation for one or more of their enrolled courses. Students access their evaluations through a secure portal tied to their UNC ID (ONYEN). Schools determine the evaluation period and the frequency of email invitations and reminders. Students select the evaluation they want to complete from their customized dashboard and can complete the evaluation using their laptop, desktop computer, or mobile device. All responses are anonymous.

Instructors can view their response rates online and receive their aggregated reports of student responses shortly after the evaluation period ends. Schools will provide specific information on the dates and means of delivering the evaluation reports to individual instructors.

Can I request paper (hard copy) evaluation forms?

The Carolina Course Evaluations process is entirely online. For special assistance with evaluations for which online administration is not feasible, please contact your dean’s office or the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

Is there a standard evaluation instrument? Can I create my own instrument?

The standard Carolina Course Evaluation Instrument has been adopted for use by many schools. It was developed by a faculty working group appointed by the Provost and has been endorsed by Faculty Council. However, the University does not require schools to use this particular form. Please check with staff in your dean’s office to learn about school-level requirements regarding instruments and whether departments or instructors may customize the questionnaire items or formats currently in use.

Where can I get help with interpreting my evaluation results or in designing new questions so I might learn more from my students? Where can I go for more information on Carolina Course Evaluations?

Staff in the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) offer consultations for individual faculty and departments about how to use course evaluation results to improve teaching and learning. More information on their instructional support services, workshops, and other resources may be found on the CFE website.

Please contact the staff in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at blueevalhelp@unc.edu for more information on Carolina Course Evaluations.