Course Evaluations

There are a variety of ways to conduct online course evaluations at Swarthmore.  What system is right for you depends on your needs.  Some considerations are:

  • Time needed to set up a survey versus capability of the system

  • Need to identify respondents completion status while maintaining anonymity of the responses.  This can be useful to remind non-repondents to take the survey, give credit for completing the evaluation, or waiting to release student grades until the evaluation is complete. 

  • Reporting abilities: most systems will do summarization of multiple choice answers, but viewing of free response questions varies

  • Specialized requirements such as handling multiple instructors and sections, more complex questions that involving logic or branching.

Comparison of Course Evaluation Methods







Moodle Questionnaire

Easy to set up, especially if using Moodle already

Can identify and email non-respondents

Limited complexity

Basic reporting capabilities

EvaluationKIT Course Evaluation Software

Most sophisticated and capable course evaluation system available

Best reporting capabilities

Can use with Moodle or stand-alone

Ability to block instructor access to survey results until after grades are submitted

Time to learn and set up the surveys

Best suited for departments or groups of faculty with similar course evaluations.

Google Forms

Easiest to create a survey

No way to determine non-respondants

Not linked to course enrollments

Very limited reporting

Qualtrics survey

Flexible and sophisticated questions possible


Easy to email reminders to non-respondents

Takes time to set up

Not linked to course enrollments

Limited reporting capabilities


Using the Questionnaire activity in Moodle, it is possible to create an anonymous course evaluation.  If you are using Moodle for your course already, your students are familiar with where to find things, you don't need to set up a new system, and you can tell which students haven't completed the evaluation while still maintaining anonymity.  On the downside, Moodle can't do complex evaluations with branching logic and the reporting is fairly basic.  

For more information, see our help page on How do I create an anonymous course evaluation?


EvaluationKit is a course evaluation service that Swarthmore has purchased.  Because it was designed especially for course evaluations, it provides the most options and best reporting.  Because it takes some time to write, configure, and distribute the survey, it is best for department-wide surveys or similar course evaluations used by multiple instructors.  Once set up, it can be used within Moodle or as a separate site.  Contact your Academic Technologist for more information about getting started with EvaluationKit.

Survey software: Google Forms and Qualtrics

It is possible to use online survey software to conduct course evaluations.  Google Forms (via your Swarthmore account) is very easy to set up, but offers limited reporting and no ability to know who hasn't completed the evaluation.  Qualtrics surveys are much more sophisticated but take longer to set up.  More information about Qualtrics is available on the Qualtrics Survey Software page.  

Ways you can contact ITS or find information:

ITS Support Portal:
Phone: x4357 (HELP) or 610-328-8513
Check out our remote resources at
Check our homepage at