Online Course and Instructor Ratings

The Evaluation System is designed specifically for conducting formative and summative (end of term) evaluations of your course sites. However, it can also be used for more general surveys. An evaluation consists of a series of scaled (i.e. rating) questions, multiple choice with single answer questions, multiple choice with multiple answer questions, and/or free text questions, which are delivered to site members over a fixed time period (typically a few days).

The Evaluation System runs under Sakai version 2.2 or higher.
It allows colleges, departments, and instructors to manage their own body of questions which are part of a combined end of term evaluation. This allows colleges and departments within a larger institution to collect targeted information from their students, while preserving a consistent set of questions used through the institution.

Evaluation results can easily be reviewed within a single course, across colleges or departments, or across the entire university. Results can be reviewed for a single evaluation covering a short time period, or can be displayed for a series of evaluations conducted across a larger time period.

The evaluation system contacts students to notify them of upcoming evaluations automatically, and to remind students to complete an ongoing evaluation. The notification scheme is intended to increase the response rate.

The Evaluation System tool is primarily designed to allow an institution to measure/evaluate/rate courses. Ease of access for evaluation participants and protection of data (results) are also primary concerns. Use of the tool by instructors and non-institutional groups is a secondary design concern but is being factored into the current round of development.

More information about the work being done is available at Evaluation Status. Check out the System Development Info and Links below as well.

More Information

Project Team





Aaron Zeckoski

CARET, Cambridge, UK

Project Lead/Developer


Richard Ellis

University of Michigan



Gonzalo Silverio

University of Michigan



Lisa Emery

University of Michigan

UM lead/Tester


Sean Michael DeMonner

University of Michigan

UM Project Manager

Project Management / Testing

Rick Moyer

University of Maryland, College Park


Testing Externals

Ellen Yu Borkowski

University of Maryland, College Park

UMD lead/Tester


Kapil Ahuja

Edtech, Virginia Tech


Tool/Eval Settings

Will Humphries

Edtech, Virginia Tech



Rui Feng

Edtech, Virginia Tech



Shaun Fleming

University of Maryland, College Park



Note: Name = No longer on the project or inactive

System Development Info and Links

Evaluation Development


The VT Online Rating System (VTORS) was developed from code received from Columbia University in mid 2004. The system was previewed in early 2005. The system was piloted in Fall 2005. The system is currently being redesigned and rebuilt as a Sakai tool. This work was started at Virginia Tech.