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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


FAST (Free Assessment Summary Tool)

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Oct 05, 2006 by Faculty Development
Overview: FAST is an anonymous online survey tool that automatically summarizes students'
impressions of a course and/or teacher and supplies the data directly to the
teacher. A free assessment or survey tool for teaching especially online, which
is web based, password protected, anonymous, and instantaneously updated.


Learning Goals: To give students a mechanism by which they can comment on teaching and the
class confirms and substantiates commitment to becoming a better teacher.
To help faculty see what students' impressions are during the course, not just
at the end of it, and thus, mid-course changes and modifications are possible
when warranted. Particularly useful in assessing teaching \& learning online and
ultimately improving their efficacy and quality.


Target Student Population: Faculty and anyone teaching, especially online

Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A very basic knowledge of survey \& assessment instruments. The ability to use a
Web-page editor to provide a link to the assessment.
Type of Material: Online instrument for assessing teaching and learning and database. Useful for
anonymous class evaluations.
Recommended Uses: For faculty, who want immediate and continuous feedback on about teaching, the
course, and the entire learning process, particularly in the online environment.
Technical Requirements: Users must have an online course or course related web site for housing their
link to the survey tool. It works with all Web browsers in both
Mac and PC formats.


Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Excellent "Questions Database" option which allows you to choose from a
prepared list of very useful questions that are geared towards learning \&
teaching online that addresses nearly all teaching situation.


Results for each question may be graphically represented in either bar,
horizontal bar, and pie charts or as non-aggregated results.

Concerns: Some typos (question 124, for example)and duplication of questions (124-125, for
instance)
In some instances the 20-question limit may be an issue.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: FAST does extremely well what it is intended to do: provide a summarized
assessment of teaching \& learning. It offers results in a spreadsheet format.
When used during a course, it enables you to make changes midcourse based upon
the feedback from your students.

Prompt feedback from students is an important component of good practice in
effective teaching.
Concerns:

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Has the option to generate unique passwords for each student and although still
preserving anonymity, it restricts students to only one access to the survey.
Results can be downloaded to Excel spreadsheet for analysis. The survey
creation and management tools are user-friendly and comprehensive. Surveys can
be placed inside standard course management systems. Tool is free until at
least October, 2006.

Easy password request \& quick response time. Simple to create a survey \& insert
link into your course. Easy for students to use. Instantaneous updating of
submitted data. FAST resides on its own server and does not require any hardware
or administrative support from the user.

Concerns: No "select all" feature to choose all the same answer options within a given
survey. Lack of any directions or sign posts for the "comments" field when the
"long answer" option is used with the Likert scale. Encounter several "runtime
error" messages when clicking on apparently unavailable items; a warning note
would be better.


Other Issues and Comments: