Which Norms should I use to analyze my report?
Department norms compare your students’ responses to all other courses in your department in the current quarter and over the past 5 years.
Student-weighted norms are calculated with each student’s response contributing equally to the norms. That is, every student’s response to that question is put into the norm pool regardless of the number of courses that had that question on their survey.
Course-weighted norms are calculated with each course contributing equally to the norms, regardless of the number of students in it. That is, only the average score of all student responses in each course is put into the norm pool, regardless of class size.
When data are aggregated for norming (either for the current quarter or over time), the results for large courses will “swamp” the results for a smaller course in “student-weighted norms”. That is, the larger courses will tend to set the norms, because of their larger enrollments.
For small courses use the "Course-weighted" norms since they are calculated with each course contributing equally to the norms (and not all students from every class regardless of size). Importantly, each student’s response carries significant weight in small courses; for example if 20 students respond, each response is worth 5%, and if 10 students respond, each response is worth 10%. Therefore, high response rates are particularly important in small courses. In addition, in very small courses (less than 10 students) there is a risk of students’ responses being recognizable by the instructor or TA instead of remaining totally anonymous, and a different type of evaluation may be more appropriate.