The University of Washington is expanding online course evaluations to reduce its use of paper. The online evaluations are expected to save the university tens of thousands of dollars every year in paper costs while giving faculty and administrators more direct access to evaluation results.
The UW’s Information School and Law School, and UW Tacoma, have been using online evaluations for two years as part of a pilot project. Last quarter, more than 600 courses at the Seattle campus were evaluated online. The Office of Educational Assessment is advertising the service to the entire campus this quarter.
The current total cost of paper evaluations at UW Seattle is about $150,000 annually.
“About half of that is associated with paper, both the purchase of the paper itself and the envelopes, plus the staff time to create the evaluation packets and scan the paper forms,” explained Nana Lowell, director of the Office of Educational Assessment. “By eliminating paper we’ll save about $75,000 a year, and about a quarter million sheets won’t have to be recycled.”