Student Course Evaluation Survey

The Center for Learning Innovation (CLI) is responsible for hosting and managing the Student Course Evaluation Survey. The purpose of this survey is to provide instructors with student feedback on their courses. This survey should not be used to inform personnel decisions affecting faculty unless this use is agreed upon by the faculty in a given academic department.

Process and Procedure

  • Surveys are conducted regularly during each semester. The CLI announces the survey launch in Illinois Tech Today and in the CLI Weekly Newsletter.
  • The Midterm Survey launches in the 7th week of the semester and is available to students for 2 weeks. The midterm survey is considered to be formative assessment. Therefore the results are available only to course instructors. These can be found on the course site in Blackboard.
  • The Spring and Fall End-of-term Surveys launch the week before final exams and are available to students for 2 weeks. The End-of-term survey results are only available to course instructors through Blackboard. If instructors wish to share results with their department Chair or Dean, they may copy the survey and provide it to the necessary staff.
  • The Summer Survey launches the week before final exams and is available to students until one week after final exams in the last summer session. Again, survey results are only available to course instructors through Blackboard. If instructors wish to share results with their department Chair or Dean, they may copy the survey and provide it to the necessary staff.

Survey Questions

Survey questions were based on feedback collected from a series of undergraduate student focus groups in Spring, 2020, and from both undergraduate and graduate student feedback to a set of draft questions. The CLI is not able to customize the survey for individual departments or colleges.

Below are the 15 questions that will be administered in Fall 2020:

Q1. How much effort did the instructor put into ensuring that the students were learning from the course?

Q2. How willing was the instructor to provide individual help to students?

Q3. How often did the instructor pause during class to check students' understanding of the course material?

Q4. How often did the instructor engage students during class, e.g., by asking questions of, seeking input from, or interacting with students?

Q5. What proportion of the classes provided students with an opportunity to engage with the material being taught in an active way?

Q6. How often did the instructor relate what was being taught in the course to "real world" situations, either in class or in assignments?

Q7. How satisfied were you with the number and timing of assessments in the course, such as homework assignments, quizzes or exams?

Q8. How well did the assessments (i.e., assignments, quizzes and exams) relate to the material covered in the course?

Q9. How enthusiastic did the instructor appear to be about the subject matter of the course?

Q10. How knowledgeable did the instructor appear to be about the subject matter of the course?

Q11. How effectively did the instructor share his or her knowledge with students in the way he or she explained concepts, gave examples or responded to student questions?

Q12. How well-informed was the instructor about current developments in the field related to the course?

Q13. How much did the instructor inspire you to learn more about the course topic beyond what was assigned in the course?

Q14. Overall, how satisfied were you with the way this instructor taught this course?

Q15. Please use the space below to enter any additional comments you would like to make about this course or the instructor.

Student Evaluations and Teaching Effectiveness

A growing body of literature suggests that the use of student evaluations of teaching for personnel decisions regarding faculty is problematic. Specifically, these evaluations have been found to be influenced by a host of course characteristics unrelated to teaching effectiveness, such as the time of day the course meets, the subject, class size, whether the course is required, and the gender of the instructor (Feldman, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1992, 1993; Kember & Leung, 2011). Moreover, student course evaluations have been found to be only weakly correlated with other measures of teaching effectiveness and student learning (Boring, Ottoboni & Stark, 2016; Uttl, White & Gonzalez, 2017).

Therefore, academic departments should use a peer assessment process to evaluate faculty teaching performance. This process can include a statement of teaching philosophy, course syllabi review, peer observations of teaching performance using a rubric developed for this purpose, and self reflections on course evaluation results from the student survey. Each academic department is free to design their own process. Also, CLI staff are available to consult with departments who would like our help in developing a process.