Published: Sept. 21, 2017

The use of Faculty Course Questionnaires (FCQ) is mandated by Regent Policy with the goal of  “enhancing student learning.” The FCQ, used by the University of Colorado’s Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs campuses, has been administered for over 20 years, with very little change. Starting summer 2016, faculty leaders, in conjunction with the FCQ program, began a review of the FCQ instrument and technology based on contemporary research on student evaluations of teaching.

Schedule a training session

Because of the new process and the concerns of professors, the FCQ program is offering 30-minute sessions with one of our administrators to discuss these methods of encouraging higher online response rates. If you are interested in attending one of these sessions please visit the faculty registration page to RSVP.

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Throughout the 2016-17 school year, select classes on all three campuses piloted new, solely online FCQ administration technology and a series of new FCQ instruments. Boulder has decided to move to a solely online FCQ administration platform but will continue to use the present FCQ questions.

Going online

After using the University of Colorado request for proposal process, the Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs campuses decided to use the online technology offered by Campus Labs. Campus Labs is one of the largest providers of FCQ technology in the country and is used by many universities of varying sizes. For more information about Campus Labs, please refer to the FCQ Redesign Project vendor page.

Starting with the fall 2017 FCQ administration, all FCQs on all three participating campuses will be administered solely through the Campus Labs platform. Students will be able to use phones, tablets and computers to fill out the FCQ any time during the FCQ administration period. Further, students will be able to save their FCQ submission and complete it at a later date that is more convenient for them, within the weeklong administration window.

Encouraging high online response rates

Boulder faculty have expressed concerns with a fully online FCQ and the possibility that response rates will significantly drop. To address these concerns, faculty in the fall 2016 and spring 2017 pilots used a variety of methods to improve response rates. Those faculty who used all of the methods suggested by the redesign team saw a significant increase in their response rates, with some large classes achieving response rates above 90 percent and one large class seeing a response rate of 99 percent.

Suggested methods

  • Set aside class time (similar to paper administration) for online administration of the FCQ.
  • Use a micro-incentive based on real-time response rates: “If the class achieves an 80 percent response rate, all students in the class will receive an extra point on their final exam.” (Other suggestions: One free 100 percent homework assignment, a chance at an extra credit assignment, etc.)
  • Discuss how the FCQ is used in your classes and department
  • Learn about more suggested methods by visiting the FCQ page “encouraging higher online response rates.”

Question set

As previously stated, the Boulder campus decided to put the implementation of a new FCQ instrument on hold. It is the intention of the campus to review the FCQ in the near future in hopes of starting a new project specifically around engaging campus leaders, deans and department chairs in the process of defining what we, as a campus, would like the FCQ instrument to accomplish.

The FCQ program will inform the campus before any effort is started as a means of seeking interested faculty who would like to participate in a project of this kind.