WCC instates new SOQ

A laptop displays the blackboard logo and a speech bubble saying "No SOQ = course lockout"

Graphic by Natalie Jarvie | Washtenaw Voice

By Jenelle Franklin
Editor

Washtenaw Community College is updating the Student Opinion Questionnaire (SOQs), first online this Winter 17 semester, then on campus this fall. A pop-up window will appear to alert students to fill out the SOQ, notifying students of a Blackboard lock-out if they fail to do so by the deadline associated with their course.

“The software will allow the college an opportunity to get information from all students regarding their online class experience. The college and individual instructors value the input from their students and our current system has not provided that opportunity,” said Kristin Good, dean of arts and sciences.

WCC holds value in students’ evaluations of courses and instructors. Distance Learning, online only classes currently have a 15-percent SOQ return, according to WCC.

“As an institution whose mission is focused on teaching, it is important for us to receive feedback on the classroom experience for all students, regardless if it is online. The goal to increase response rates in our online classes is based on our desire to provide students with an effective learning experience,” said Kimberly Hurns, Vice President for Instruction.

Student feedback allows WCC to enhance the college experience for students, some instructors making it personal goal to hear from their students.

“I do believe that (the SOQ) adds to the college experience to know that the College really does care about students’ opinions. If I want your opinion, I will in some way motivate you to give it. And, for now, this is the tool we have to get that done. I hope that students will see it in a positive light, especially if individual instructors personally encourage their students to fill them out in a warm, caring, and positive manner,” said Lisa Rhombes, dean of mathematics.

SOQ’s will first appear in Blackboard on March 26 for students who started their online courses at the beginning of the semester. Students in later starting courses will receive notifications as the semester continues.

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