Barnard Course Evaluations



Notice: We will be moving to the course evaluation system in New CourseWorks for Fall 2013. 

Dates: Spring 2013 

Wed Feb 27 - Tue Mar 12 
Depts identify which courses will be evaluated   
Department Chairs and Program Directors receive forms that list their courses; the forms they indicate  which courses should be evaluated, what kind of form (e.g., lecture or lab,) and how many instructors & TAs will be evaluated. 

Fri April 12
Eval forms assigned to Instructors

Monday, April 15 - Friday, April 19
Depts check forms and rosters; add questions if desired  
Instructors and/or Department Assistants/Administrators make sure that the correct forms were assigned, that Instructors and TAs are properly designated on rosters, and optionally add up to 10 course-specific questions.  Departments that want to add a common set of questions should plan ahead.

Tue, Apr 24
Finalized forms are assigned to courses
Finalized evaluation forms are assigned to courses - no more changes possible.  Students cannot view them until Apr 30.  Check the forms and report any problems immediately!

Tue Apr 30 - Thu May 9 
Course evaluation period  
Instructors are encouraged to remind students in class that course evaluations are posted during this period.

Mon May 6
Instructors: You are encouraged to send a reminder around this time  
Instructors are encouraged to send a reminder to those students who have not yet submitted forms using the Send Email to Non-Respondents feature (see How-to Guides below.)

Tue May 28 (Afternoon)
Course evaluation reports released to instructors for those courses for which all grades have been submitted.

Fri, May 31 
The end of blocking of online viewing of grades for non-respondents.

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At the end of each term, Barnard students are asked to evaluate their courses. Student feedback is used in two ways: i) The faculty incorporate student feedback as they continuously revise and enhance their courses. ii) Data from these surveys are key elements in how the College evaluates teaching during the reappointment, tenure and promotion processes. Course evaluations are administered via CourseWorks

Do students have to submit the evaluation forms?

Students are requested to submit all assigned evaluation forms for all courses. To encourage participation, Barnard students (except for graduating seniors) who don't submit all the evaluation forms for a Barnard course (whether filled in completely, partially, or not at all) will be blocked from viewing the grade in that course in eBear for three weeks.


In the CourseWorks system, the identity of respondents is confidential; responses are not linked to the student who submitted them.  As an additional step, instructors cannot view any responses at all until after their course grades have been submitted.  The CourseWorks system allows instructors to send an email to "nonrespondents" to encourage participation, but they cannot identify which particular students have or have not completed the evaluation.

Non-Registered students

Non-registered students will not have access to the evaluations and are not included in the calculation of the response rate. If more than one CourseWorks site exists for a course, students will only be able to access the evaluation in the section in which they are officially registered.

Evaluation forms

A standard evaluation form will be applied to most Barnard courses, but instructors or departments may add up to 10 supplemental questions of their own. There are distinct forms for Lectures/Seminars and for Labs. If Teaching Assistants are also being evaluated, then a second form is applied to the course for evaluating Teaching Assistants. Variants of each form are created and applied depending on how many instructors or TAs are being evaluated for a given course.  Here are the standard forms:

Can responses be changed?

Until now, an evaluation could not be changed once submitted  This may change in Spring 2013.  If you believe that you submitted a form that you filled out incorrectly, please contact

What do Instructors,  Dept Chairs & Program Directors, and Department Assistants & Administrators need to do to ensure that course evaluations are carried out properly?

  • Work with the Provost's Office and IMATS to ensure that the right courses are being evaluated, and that the correct form is assigned to each course.
  • Review CourseWorks rosters for courses under your purview, ensuring that Instructors and TAs are properly designated if they are being evaluated.
  • Optionally add up to ten (10) additional questions.
  • Encourage students to fill out the forms during the evaluation period.

Evaluations of Graduate-level courses

All graduate-level courses are evaluated by Columbia Arts & Sciences.  Their procedures are described here.  You need to contact the Columbia Chair or Dept Admin to receive the reports.

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How-to Guides (Old CourseWorks)

How do I add extra course-specific questions to the evaluation form? (Old CourseWorks)

Instructors can add up to ten (10) questions to the evaluation form for each of their courses. The added questions will appear at the bottom of the standard evaluation form.  (You should find out whether or not your department has any applicable guidelines before adding questions.)  Adding questions is optional, and if you don't wish to add questions, then no action by you is required.  All questions submitted by instructors will be added to the course evaluation, without editing for content, syntax or punctuation, so  review carefully before submitting.  If you need to change or delete a question after you submit it, send an email  to  However, once the forms have been assigned to the course in the final form, changes are no longer possible; (that date comes well before the evaluation window -- see list of dates above for the current semester.)  Tip: If you want to use the same response scale for your questions as is used in the standard evaluation questions, use the scale titled: 5 pt - Number scale- 5 point (Number scale- 5 point-Low-High)  Another scale has a very similar name, so be careful to select the right scale.

Instructions: Adding optional additional questions (pdf)

How does the Instructor send personalized email reminders to non-responding students? (Old CourseWorks)

Students receive automated email messages from CourseWorks related to the evaluation process; they get one when the evaluation period starts and periodic messages reminding them of evaluations they have not yet submitted. However, direct encouragement from instructors is much more effective in improving response rate. Students are more likely to pay attention to a message from their instructor than one sent from During the evaluation period, instructors can use CourseWorks to send an email message to those who have not yet submitted the evaluation form(s) for the course.   (Note that Instructors do not see the names or email addresses of the nonrespondents.)

Instructions: Emailing nonrespondents during evaluation window (pdf)

Viewing/Printing/Saving evaluation reports (Old CourseWorks)

The course evaluation reports will not be released to the Instructor or Department until all grades for that course have been submitted to the Registrar.  Once the grades are submitted, the reports will usually be released within 3 business days.  

To view reports: 

  • Click on the Evaluation link for your course
  • If Results have been released, under the Results heading to the far right there will be a link called Reports
  • Click the Reports link.
  • Click the link to Open All and choose desired Report
    • Printing tip: In Windows version of Firefox, you may need to right-click in the middle of the report window and select "Show Only This Frame" before you print; use Print Preview to check

To print reports

  • The course evaluation module in Old CourseWorks, used for all courses through the Fall 2012 semester, uses a technology called "frames" which can make printing messy.  To ensure proper formatting, follow these steps:
    • Use the Firefox browser to view a report
    • Bring up the contextual menu by right-clicking in the middle of the report page (use Ctrl-Click on the one-button Mac mouse)
    • Select This frame > Show only this frame
    • Bring up the contextual menu again and print as usual

To save reports 

  • All course evaluations will be archived by CUIT, but if you want to save your own copy, following directions above for printing, but then use the print to PDF feature on your computer.

Delegated Access to course sites for Department Chairs, Program Directors, and Department Administrators & Assistants

  • For New CourseWorks
  • For Old CourseWorks
    • Access Old CourseWorks in one of the following ways
    • Click "Admin Access" from left-side menu
    • Click "Courses" from horizontal menu
    • Configure search criteria and click "Find Course"
    • Click the CW ID button to enter course site

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Questions & Comments

Contact or the Provost's Office with questions and comments about Barnard course evaluations. Student may also check with the instructor, department chair, or department assistants/administrators.

Columbia undergraduate and graduate courses are also evaluated via CourseWorks, but using different forms and independent policies & procedures. Contact for questions and comments about Columbia course evaluations.

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