How to Increase Response Rates for Online Evaluations

The following actions may increase the response rate in online evaluations (Nulty, 2008, p. 305):

  • Demonstrate how to submit an online response in class to help reduce any computer-related questions or errors.
  • Make the survey easy for students to access by providing the URL link in an email.
  • Remind students of the evaluation deadline date and the importance of the results. Instructors can also program the survey website to send email reminders to invited participants.
  • Extend the duration of a survey’s online availability.
  • Explain the importance of student feedback to course improvement in the syllabus.
  • Provide class time for students to fill out the online form using their personal computers or smartphones.
  • Emphasize the anonymous nature of student evaluations.
  • Reassure students that their responses will be taken seriously and specific actions will be taken to resolve issues regarding the course.
  • Create evaluations that seek constructive criticism and allow students to engage with the questions.
  • Keep questionnaires brief.
  • Direct students to a computer lab where they can submit their evaluations.


Nulty, D. D. (2008). The adequacy of response rates to online and paper surveys: What can be done? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(3), 301-314.