The University of California, Davis, Division of Continuing and Professional Education connects working professionals, businesses and students from around the world to the knowledge and resources of UC Davis. Last year, they served nearly 63,000 students from around the world. They also offer online programs on Coursera that served more than 220,000 students last year.
Before implementing Class Climate in Fall 2016, UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education was using a home-grown student information system (SIS) that incorporated results from course evaluations. They used pre-printed Scantron forms, scanners, and scanning software to gather responses. While the system worked, it lacked flexibility—the division needed more options.
They wanted to expand their delivery options to include both online and paper evaluations and to provide a centralized location for all their results that supported more holistic analysis.
In addition, they had changed to a new SIS that did not include an evaluation system. They wanted a solution that provided centralized data storage and overall conformity rules, while still allowing local control and flexibility within different programs. They also needed to connect to Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).
Enter Scantron’s Class Climate automated course evaluation system.
UC Davis particularly enjoys that Class Climate combines local questionnaire control with centralized storage and management. “Previously, some groups used the central systems while others did not. Now, we can set up a centralized database and provide consistent rules for all evaluations,” says Ven Meyerzon, IT Business Systems Analyst for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. “But, we really like that we can use the decentralized model for managing the classes. Each of our 15 subgroups can manage their own evaluations.”
This flexibility is key for a division that supports a wide variety of continuing education courses, from one-day workshops to longer in-person or online classes. This type of class structure, with its non-traditional schedules, requires a system like Class Climate that supports multiple delivery schedules.
In addition, simply moving to a web-based system improved efficiency. UC Davis can set up questionnaires ahead of time, schedule flexible administration times for student access to evaluations within their LMS, and generate and distribute reports automatically.
“We can set ground rules for everyone to follow and prevent duplicate work by reusing surveys. We love that it’s very easy to create questionnaires and reports,” states Meyerzon. “For example, we also deliver training in partnership with the State of California. It’s very easy to add questions for that training that the state mandates. In just a few clicks, we can present the state with the data they require.”
“We’re very happy with Scantron. We have classes with single and multiple instructors, we deliver classes in person and online, and we support schedules from anywhere between one day and 10 weeks. Having one system that can do all that is wonderful.”
Ven Meyerzon, IT Business Systems Analyst, University of California, Davis, Continuing and Professional Education
“Class Climate was easy to set up and configure,” Meyerzon continues. “And it’s easy to use. Scantron’s training and advanced webinars provide so much helpful information—and the webinars are available as recordings, so we can easily train new staff.”
One concern institutions often express is that their response rates will drop when they move to an online system. While that can happen, Meyerzon notes that the tradeoff may be worth it: “We explain that it’s okay that we’re getting lower response. We’re still getting enough to be statistically significant, and we see higher-quality comments. Now, if students are taking the time to fill out evaluations, they’re also taking the time to provide quality feedback.”
A final thing Meyerzon appreciates is Scantron’s commitment to continual improvement. “I’m the support liaison for the division. If I have to call Scantron, I get help right away. Class Climate is an actively developed product with new features and new releases and regular bug fixes. Knowing that this is a product that will continue to be supported was a big factor in our decision.”
Scantron is proud to support this innovative division with the flexibility and convenience it needs to serve its students.