Guidelines for Response Rates

The following table shows suggested minimum response rates for the CEQ based on class size. 


Recommended Response Rates for the Course Evaluation Questionnaire (CEQ)*
Class Enrollment Recommended Minimum Response Rate
5-9 80%
10-20 60%
21-30 47%
31-40 40%
41-60 30%
>60 25%


*Assumptions: 10% sampling error, 80% confidence interval, 80/20 split in responses. Courses with small class sizes, i.e., less than 5 students enrolled, are not mandated to use the CEQ and would require a response rate of 80-100 percent.

Determination of assumptions have been based on an extensive literature review, analysis of class enrolment data at Memorial and historical data on responses for the Memorial CEQ.

There is no agreed upon standard for response rates in the literature as the nature of Course Evaluations does not fit into a survey sampling paradigm.  While some recommendations have been made by  Nulty (2008), we have adopted a more adaptive sampling calculation derived from Dillman et al. (p. 57-58, 2007).