Assess technology

Ongoing Course Assessment survey


The Ongoing Course Assessment (OCA) system is a Web-based survey tool that enables UT-Austin instructors to create instructional assessment instruments to collect anonymous feedback from their students at any time during the semester within a secure environment.

With OCA, you can implement surveys to assess instructional technology in two ways. You can create your own template using OCA's question library, or create your own survey by writing your own questions. Compare OCA with other electronic survey tools.

Suggested uses of OCA surveys

Limitations of OCA surveys

Resource requirements

A moderate level of knowledge about instrument design and writing survey questions is required unless you are using previously existing survey templates or items from the question library. In addition, training or experience in using the OCA system is recommended.  Students must have computer access and an UT EID to access the OCA system.  [more]

Planning your OCA survey

STEP 1. Describe the instructional technology and context

Include the purpose of the instructional technology: the need it addresses, its expected effects, current resources, and resources needed to implement. Describe the users (education, motivation, skill levels), learning objectives in relation to the technology, and the learning context.   A worksheet is available to help you through this step. 

STEP 2. Identify stakeholder needs and develop central questions

Central questions identify what you and the stakeholders would want to learn through the survey. For example, "What features do instructors like about webcasting?" A worksheet is available to help you identify stakeholder needs and develop central questions.

STEP 3. Determine the purpose of the survey

A survey should have a clear purpose and focus. Avoid the temptation of asking too many questions in a single survey or surveying users "just to see what's going on." Using your central questions as a guide, specify how your survey will help you gain insight, change course practices, or measure the effects of the instructional technology. A worksheet is available to help you develop and refine your study’s purposes.

STEP 4. Determine how you will use the results

How you intend to use results should also guide the content of your survey. If the answer to a survey question will not assist your instructional technology assessment, leave the question out.  A worksheet is available to help exemplify how to use results after determining the purpose of a study.

STEP 5. Design the template

The OCA system enables you to create a new template by selecting pre-existing questions or writing your own. Selecting Tutorials under the OCA's Navigation Menu connects you to step-by-step instructions for using these OCA features.

Using the Question Library

Use the OCA Template Builder to create a new template. [more]  The question library has a specific area just for assessing instructional technology.

Creating your own questions

Use the OCA Question Builder to write your own questions. You can find detailed instructions for this feature in the OCA tutorial. [more about writing survey questions]

If you do not have adequate time to develop good questions, use the Template Builder and Question Library.

The information you want to obtain and how you plan to use it should dictate the question type or response scale you choose.

Editing the template

Once you have created a template and saved it in your Personal Library, you should review and edit it using the OCA's edit tool. The edit tool allows you to insert text, insert questions, delete questions, and organize questions. [more]

Additional information

Babbie, E.R. (1973). Survey research methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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