Text Analytics | News

Higher Ed Survey Service Adds Write-In Analysis Option

A Web-based course evaluation service developed specifically for colleges and universities has added a text analytics option that enables users to cull insight from free-form student feedback. EvaluationKIT, from a company of the same name, has introduced EvaluationKIT Text Analytics, which takes write-in responses to survey questions and summarizes them for reports. Results include a summary table of top themes, metrics for each theme, and "sentiment analysis" to measure how negative or positive the comments are for each specific theme.

EvaluationKIT's standard offering provides digital tools for creating surveys, embedding them into learning management systems, handling email invitations to students and follow-up to non-respondents, and reporting.

"Historically, institutions have had to rely on Likert-type items as the basis for survey feedback due to the operational and technical limitations of analyzing large volumes of student text responses," said EvaluationKIT President Kevin Hoffman. "With the release of EvaluationKIT Text Analytics, the richness of student write-in feedback can be efficiently summarized by the system and presented to administrators in clear reporting across thousands of comments. This approach presents a much more complete picture of student feedback." (A Likert item typically asks the respondent to assess level of agreement to a given statement.)

One institutional user said she has found qualitative feedback from students "extremely useful" in identifying "common thoughts and viewpoints" across large numbers of students. "Using EvaluationKIT Text Analytics, our student feedback data has become so much more powerful and meaningful," said Shelley Kinash, associate professor and director of learning and teaching at Bond University in Australia. "The students are the stakeholders who are best placed to evaluate the quality of their education. Through applying qualitatively analyzed feedback, we have made significant improvements to learning, teaching, and the overall student experience."

Annual pricing for the standard survey service starts at $3,000 per year for up to 10,000 survey responses. The text analytics option has an additional charge.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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