For the future, have you considered doing a mid-semester review by which your students can give feedback on what is going well and not so well in the class? These tend to improve your end-of-semester evaluations for at least two reasons:
1. You can make some changes mid-semester that actually improve student learning.
2. Students feel that you have listened to them and thus will rate you higher.
I know it sounds like a fluff exercise, but in a few cases, I had no idea that some issues were really hindering student learning. I made some changes that did not affect the integrity of the course, but that helped students a great deal. In one class, almost 50% of the students independently named one thing that was really bothering them. Fixing it was easy. My course evals for the end of the semester for that class were particularly high.
(BTW, I have students me what is going well in addition to what can be improved. I tell them that this way, if 5 students don’t like something, but 25 do, that gives me better information than if I had not asked what students felt was going well.)
I really like this idea, which came from Avaya on the Chronicle’s fora..
I think I will institute that this semester.