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.
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.
For faculty, who want immediate and continuous feedback on about teaching, the course, and the entire learning process, particularly in the online environment.
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
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.
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
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.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
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.
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.