Overview of OLAC - The OnLine Assessment Centre

For many years, UWI, Mona Campus has been conducting assessments of lecturers and courses. Up to September, 2013 this has been a paper-based effort. Envelopes were labelled and packaged with bubble sheets containing the questionnaire for each lecturer and course to be assessed. The completed forms were returned to MITS where they were scanned and standard reports generated for each lecturer and course assessed. Of course, as the number of courses and the class sizes increased, it became more and more costly and time-consuming to continue in this mode.
An initiative to move the system online, taken by MITS several years ago, was accepted and taken on board by the Office of the Deputy Principal through Deputy Principal, Prof. Ishenkumba Kahwa, in December 2013.

To promote internal quality assurance by increasing students’ participation and input in the evaluation of teaching and learning exercise.

A. Students are more aware of how their feedback contributes to decision making concerning course design, the teaching and learning process and academic staff management.
B. Students are more willing and eager to participate in the evaluation of teaching and learning exercise.
C. Wonderful if we get 100% participation rate!

Consistent with UWI’s status as a techno-savvy University, the Student Evaluation of Courses and Lecturers is an online exercise which provides evidence of students’ perception of the teaching/ learning experience. The data so obtained are used to ascertain features of lecturers’ teaching skills and effectiveness that need improvement and to acquire student recommendation for improving lecturers’ teaching performance. The evaluation exercise includes all students at the graduate and undergraduate levels at both the Mona and Western Jamaica campuses and you can complete the online evaluation anywhere, at anytime!

The undergraduate evaluation has 34 items while graduate evaluation contains 21 questions. Both evaluation forms contain open ended items for students to voice their comments, criticisms and recommendations. The items are a combination of general and specific questions where students are required to apply a rating between 1 and 5 as it relates to
•   instructors’ aptitude and pedagogical approaches and skills,
•   course organization,
•   effectiveness of tutorial and lab sessions as well as
•   the general level of satisfaction with the instructors’ performance.

© J. Leitch, IC Designs 2013