Course Evaluations (Faculty & Admin)

Information for Your Students

Want to help your students write more constructive comments in their course evaluations? Share the link below!

Course Evaluation Information

Evaluation Dates for Spring 2021

April 21st to May 19th, 2021

Course Evaluation Comment Removal Policy and Procedure

Click here to review the policy on the redaction of inappropriate student comments on course evaluations.

Review Your Courses for Evaluation

Login to the Faculty Campus Labs system and review your courses that are scheduled to be evaluated.  Let us know if anything needs to be revised: CourseEval@stonybrook.edu

Course Evaluation Questions

Click here to view SBU Core Questions (including new additions starting Fall 2020).

Adding Questions to the Surveys

Instructors may add questions to the surveys up to the start of the evaluation.  Any questions added previously will not carry over and do need to be added again to this new survey. Click here for instructions on how to add custom questions. We recommend adding a maximum of THREE questions to reduce survey fatigue. We can work with you on creating questions that assess your learning objectives.

Course Evaluation Faculty Spotlight

Read about what some SBU Faculty are doing to increase their response rates.

Response Rates

Many faculty members are getting high response rates by leaving time at the end of class for students to complete the evaluations on their laptops or mobile devices.  You can view current response rates by logging into your instructor site here

Course Evaluation Completion Rates

Previous Faculty Evaluation Reports

Looking  for old evaluation reports?

Visit our website at: https://oce.tlt.stonybrook.edu/#/
Log in with your NetID-password to access and print reports from Fall 2010 to Fall 2013.

Log-In Links

There are FAQ and Login pages for both students and instructors:

Students
Faculty/Admins

Other Questions?

Contact us at: CourseEval@stonybrook.edu

New Registration Tools To Share With Your Students

Schedule Builder

Efficient Planning & Enrollment Tool

Schedule Builder is a web-based program that allows students to build their Stony Brook class schedules much quicker and easier. Students select the classes they wish to take and Schedule Builder shows them all the possible schedule options — all at the click of a button.  Schedule Builder can be found in SOLAR under “Student Records & Registration”.

SBU Classie Evals

Course Evaluation Data

Classie allows access to course evaluation data from previous semesters. Students must login using their SBU NetID and password.  It is similar to "Rate My Professor" but much better and more accurate. Based on consistent student feedback that subsequent access to course evaluation data was desired, Classie was introducted to encourage higher response rates.

SBU Class Find

Efficient Class Finder

A course search tool.  Allows students to narrow their search based on various parameters including DEC or SBC, day of the week, location, etc.  Once the desired courses are found, students can do a "one click" operation to put the courses into their SOLAR shopping cart.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What are online course evaluations?

In Fall 2010, with Faculty Senate and Provostial approval, Stony Brook adopted an online course evaluation system that began during the Spring 2011 semester. This adoption was preceded by a pilot test of the system in Fall 2010 involving 200 course sections and significant discussion with stakeholder groups across the University.

At this time, the system is in place for all West campus courses. All undergraduate and graduate courses will be evaluated online, unless department chairpersons designate courses that should not be evaluated (such as dissertation, readings, small seminars, etc.) 

The system is hosted by an external company which provides an extensive set of services including the survey engine, question banks, pre-created analysis and reports of the survey results, as well as a system for managing survey assignments and email reminders to faculty and students. The system is accessible via any Web browser from any Internet-connected computer.

When do evaluations take place?

Faculty and students will automatically receive email notifications and instructions before and during each of the following events.

  1. Instructors will be given 7-10 days before the evaluation period starts to prepare their own customized questions and add them to the evaluation system.
  2. Student access to the course evaluations will start during the final third of a course (approximately four weeks before for full semester courses), and will end the last day of the official final examination period. Students will receive multiple email reminders during this period if at least one course evaluation remains uncompleted.
Who is evaluated with online course evaluations?

All instructors and teaching assistants listed as primary and secondary instructors in PeopleSoft/SOLAR are evaluated. If a faculty member manages a course, but does not teach it, they should be listed in the SUP field in PeopleSoft to prevent an evaluation being assigned. It is very important that instructor information for courses be correct in PeopleSoft prior to the beginning of each evaluation period or faculty may not get evaluated or the wrong instructor may be evaluated for a course.

Are TAs evaluated?

All instructional staff who are assigned as Primary Instructors or Secondary Instructors are evaluated, including TAs.  It is important for academic departments to enter TA teaching assignments accurately and in a timely manner in order for the course evaluations to be accurately assigned, usually within the first 4 weeks of the semester. If your courses are not listed or you are listed as teaching the wrong course, please contact your department administrator to make the changes in SOLAR and contact CELT to make corrections in the course evaluation system: CourseEval@stonybrook.edu

How are course evaluations assigned?

Evaluations are assigned based on the data entered by departmental staff in SOLAR. Please contact the appropriate staff member in your department to ensure that your correct teaching assignments are up to date before each semester's evaluation period begins. If you are assigned an evaluation for a course that you are not teaching or have not been assigned to a course that you are teaching, please contact the person in your department who is responsible for maintaining faculty teaching assignments in Peoplesoft/SOLAR. That person is the only person who can contact the course evaluation team to authorize a change in the evaluation assignments.

Are small enrollment courses evaluated?

Yes, policies and procedures determined all courses, including low enrollment, will automatically be evaluated except those designated as TUTorial or SUPervisory or CLN (clinical).  

However, faculty and departments can choose to evaluate these courses by submitting an exception request.  To access the exception form, log on at: it.stonybrook.edu/services/course-evaluations-faculty/exception-request and authenticate with your Net ID and password.

How are team-taught classes evaluated?

The system administers separate evaluations for all instructors in the course. Common questions such as those focused on the learning space are delivered only one time to each student within each course.

 
What is a mid-semester formative assessment?

Quite often, it is useful to receive feedback from a large number of students early enough in the semester to make mid-course adjustments to improve the student learning experience. 

You may want to administer a two-question survey which asks students:

  • What does your instructor do particularly well? and,
  • What could the instructor do better?

The mid-semester survey is used as a formative assessment designed solely to provide information and feedback to an instructor and to allow for development and improvement of a course in progress.

At the faculty member's request, the Faculty Center assessment experts can work with you to address any critical issues arising from the survey. The research literature shows that using a mid-semester survey to solicit student feedback as a formative assessment process provides students with the confidence that their voice in the learning process is valued by the professor and the University, and generally results in higher end-of-semester course evaluations.

 

The University of Virginia provides an excellent example of this research:

"Although the primary purpose for student perception data collected through mid-term and end-of-course evaluations is for course improvement, the two differ slightly. End-of-course evaluation data is a type of summative assessment. Though helpful "next time," summative assessments typically happen too far down the learning path to provide information at the classroom level and to make instructional adjustments and interventions during the learning process. In contrast, mid-term feedback is a type of formative assessment. Formative assessments provide information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening. Research has shown that the benefits of collecting mid-term feedback is especially effective when it is part of a faculty development program that includes personal consultation."

 

Cohen, P.A. (1980). Effectiveness of student-rating feedback for improving college instruction: A meta-analysis of findings. Research in Higher Education, 13, 321-341.

Instructor Perspective: "Engaging Evaluations: Helping Students Consider Their Learning" by Cassandra Fraser

Instructor Perspective: "Using a Mid-Term Evaluation to Give Students Responsibility for the Course" by Nancy Loevinger

Who do I contact for technical support with online course evaluations?

Technical support regarding login, navigation, incorrect instructor assignments, adding custom questions, downloading reports/data, and interpreting results is available to all users. Please contact CELT at (631) 632-2780 or CourseEval@stonybrook.edu for details.

About the Evaluations

What questions are on the survey?

Course Evaluation Question Revision Process

The development process through which this change occurred has taken nearly 2 years with significant work from the faculty course evaluation committee (a subcommittee of the former University Assessment & Quality Enhancement Committee), Faculty Center staff and advice solicited from the CAS PTC, administrators and colleagues at other institutions. To support these decisions, we collected course evaluation questions from AAU institutions and have compiled a database of over 1,000 questions. The University Senate approved implementation of these new questions in Fall 2013.

 

Campus Feedback & Revised Questions

The proposed questions were vetted through the Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council, Undergraduate Program Directors, Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Organization for feedback, the committee reviewed the feedback and made the following changes based on the feedback.

Intro: Please respond to the items below as they relate to your learning experience in this course. Select the option that best describes your experience. Your answers are confidential and provide valuable feedback to the instructor and University.

Note: The course evaluation process does not serve as a substitute for filing a formal complaint. For more information about filing a formal complaint visit the OIDE website at
https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/oide-titleix/contact-us.php.

1. Overall, I would give this course a grade of...[A-F, 5-point scale]

2. The instructor was effective in teaching the subject matter [5-point scale SA(5) to SD(1)]

3. Instructor expectation of students is reasonable. [5-point scale: SA(5) to SD(1)]

4. The grading was based on the requirements stated in the syllabus. 

[Scale: Agree / Grading did not match the syllabus / There was no syllabus / I did not read the syllabus / I don’t know]. 

5. The textbook, readings and required resources were valuable. 

[Scale: Agree / Disagree / I did not read the required materials / No text, readings or resources were required]. 

6. Did the use of the required textbooks, readings or resources sufficiently justify their cost?

[Scale: Agree / Sufficiently used but not worth the cost / Not sufficiently used / No cost required / I  did not read the required    materials]. 

7. What is your reason for taking this course? 

[Scale: DEC* requirement / Major requirement / Minor requirement / Upper-division credit / Personal interest / Other (please specify)]. 

(* DEC may be replaced with Gen Ed or other term for Stony Brook Curriculum general education course.)

8. What is the most effective way to contact the instructor outside of class? 

[Scale: Office Hours / Before or After Class / Email / Telephone / I Never Contacted the Instructor / Other (please specify)]. 

9. On average, how many hours per week did you spend on this course outside of class? 

[Scale: 0-3 hours / 4-6 hours / 7-9 hours / 10+ hours].

10. My anticipated grade in this class is: 

 [Scale: A,B,C,D,F,P,S,U, I Don’t Know]

11. How often did you attend this class?

[Scale: Always  /Most of the time / About half the time / Before exams / Very infrequently].

12. What, if anything, did you find most valuable about this course? (Open)

13. In what ways, if any, could the course be improved? (Open) 

 

New Additions (Starting Fall 2020): 

14. Please rate the value of the following learning activities:

[Scale: Valuable, Not Valuable, Not utilized in this course, No opinion, N/A my class did not utilize online]
Learning Activities:
Readings/textbook
Quizzes/tests
Discussions
Writing assignments
Projects
Presentation assignments
Journaling
Blogging
Portfolios
Group work
Video lecture
Audio lecture
Other

15. For each of the following, please indicate whether or not the statement describes
this online course:
[Scale: Yes, No, Somewhat, N/A my class did not utilize online   
Statements:
It incorporated a variety of media (e.g., graphics, audio, video, PowerPoint, etc.)
All media and document files worked properly
It was easy to navigate
It was well organized
Tools and resources were easy to find

16. For each of the following, please indicate whether or not the statement describes
your instructor(s)?
[Scale: Yes, No, Sometimes] 
Statements: 
They were easily reachable 
They gave timely replies
They graded promptly
They provided frequent and useful feedback
They facilitated interaction among students
They gave clear instructions
They made their expectations clear

17. Do you feel your work was graded with feedback promptly enough for you to
improve subsequent assignments?
[Scale: Yes, No] 

18. What suggestions would you offer for improving the organization of the course menu, tools, resources and overall navigation? (Open)

Can I add my own questions to the survey?

Yes, additional questions may be added by faculty at the individual course level. At this time, faculty are limited to five additional questions each. If you would like to know how to add custom questions to your course sections, click here

Why did Stony Brook change the online course evaluation form?

A faculty commitee was formed to revise the course evaluation process, primarily to provide more timely feedback that faculty could use to improve the quality of instruction. Department administrators were asking to update the process because it had become a very resource and time-intensive process. The committee conducted a thorough review of the paper-based system and evaluated a number of online survey options, including a home-grown approach. Our research indicated that the most cost-effective option that would meet faculty, student, and administrator needs was the Online Course Evaluation system that we now have in place.

Evaluation Results

How can I have a comment removed from my evaluation?

Student comments will be considered for redaction if they:

  • Appear to evaluate the instructor on criteria not related to her/his teaching performance and/or on a discriminatory basis (see the University's Non-Discrimination Statement: http://www.stonybrook.edu/policy/policies.shtml?ID=105)
  • Raise allegations of professional impropriety (including harassment or discrimination) on the part of the instructor.
  • Include threats of violence. Such allegations may be referred to appropriate University authorities for investigation.

Redaction Procedure:

  1. All data will be published once faculty reports are released (this will be the academic standing date provided by registrar).
     
  2. If we get redaction requests, those comments will be completely hidden until a final redaction is made by the Executive committee.  These requests will proceed along the Comment Removal Timeline below.  
     

Comment Removal Timeline:

Faculty send requests to their Chair or Dean:

Faculty are able to review their own evaluation reports, including student comments, before they are published to the university community, by logging into Campus Labs:

https://stonybrook.campuslabs.com/faculty   

After reviewing student feedback from the evaluation reports, faculty may request redaction of any comments that harass, threaten, defame, slander or otherwise fall outside the scope of the course by submitting a request to the department chair or dean.

If the chair/dean determines the comment/s require further review, they may forward the request to:

Undergraduate Courses: Elizabeth.Newman@stonybrook.edu

Graduate Courses: eric.wertheimer@stonybrook.edu

Assistant Vice President, (CELT): Patricia.Aceves@stonybrook.edu

Within 2 business days:

  • Requester will receive a confirmation of request
  • During this time, the complete comment in question will be hidden from view on the Classie site.

Within 5-7 business days:

  • *NEW* Review committee will be formed to include Patricia Aceves, Catherine Scott and 1-2 Distinguished Teaching faculty.
  • Requester will be notified of any determination made and the Classie site will be updated to reflect those changes.

Appeals:

Faculty may appeal the decision of the committee. Appeals requests should be sent to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Elizabeth.Newman@stonybrook.edu and/or the Vice Provost for Graduate Education at eric.wertheimer@stonybrook.edu.  In consultation with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Surita Bhatia, an appeals decision will be made.

A confirmation of an appeal will be sent within 5 business days.

Final Decision:

A final decision will be made within 14 business days.  Comment recommendation will be posted at that time.    

What are the course evaluation completion rates?
          Administration Name    Evaluations to be Completed       Evaluations Completed       Response Rate   
   2016       Fall   114,661   57,739   50.36%
    Summer Session I   6,723   2,068   30.76%
    Summer Session (Extended)   1,776   419   23.59%
    Summer Session II   7,064   1,905   26.97%
    Spring   103,305   45,508   44.05%
   2015   Fall   111,181   55,551   49.96%
    Summer Session I   7,271   2,237   30.77%
    Summer Session I (Extended)     1,562   480   30.73%
    Summer Session II   6,839   1,788   26.14%
    Spring   103,276   47,868   46.35%
   2014   Fall   109,972   50,950   43.33%
    Summer Session I   7,207   2,168   30.08%
    Summer Session I (Extended)   1,272   335   26.34%
    Summer Session II   113   57   50.44%
    Summer Session II (Extended)     5,886   1,964   33.37%
    Spring   104,442   43,995   42.09%
    Winter   2,389   690   28.88%
   2013   Fall   107,730   71,094   38.15%
    Summer Session I   8,051   1,831   22.74%
    Summer Session I (Extended)   727   82   11.28%
    Summer Session II   6,067   1,294   21.33%
    Summer Session II (Extended)   689   51  7.4%
    Spring   199,751     26%
    Winter   2,241   302   13.48%
   2012   Fall       25%
    Summer   16,107   3,920   24.34%
    Spring   96,597   25,534   26.43%
    Winter   2,358   570   24.17%
   2011   Fall   102,390   33,436   32.66%
    Summer   17,871   2,817   15.76%
    Spring   98,907   25,619   25.90%
How do I view evaluation results?

Your summary report can be accessed  at the course evaluation website. Approved reviewers can access the evaluation results of all the faculty within a department and generally tend to be department chairs or their designees. Should chairs wish to designate additional reviewers they should email a request which includes the reviewer's Net Id to CourseEval@stonybrook.edu

When can I see my ratings?

The evaluation data is made available approximately one month after the evaluation period ends to ensure that all grades have been submitted. While the Registrar's grade submission guidelines ask for grades to be submitted 72 hours after final exams, many faculty do not submit grades for several weeks. Consequently, results are delayed until the Registrar indicates that all grades have been submitted.

How long will the data remain online?

The evaluation data will remain online as long as the University maintains its contract with this vendor. Each semester, all Stony Brook results are exported and stored in the data warehouse along with all previous course evaluation results so that faculty course summaries will always be available.

Why is the evaluation data being made available to students?

When the online system was being considered by faculty, conversations were conducted with student government and they told us that many students rely on public "rate-my-professor" websites to make course decisions and expressed instead the desire to see Stony Brook's instructor ratings to make informed course choices. Subsequently, the University Faculty Senate approved a motion to make course evaluation data available to students. 

What are student response rates?

The online course evaluation system eliminates a lot of survey loss due to incorrect student and course IDs entered on the paper based forms and from lost forms. Although nationally the response rate is lower for an online system when compared with paper, during the pilot study and first semester in use at Stony Brook the number of returned valid forms was the same for the two systems. 

Faculty reminders to students during class meetings are critical to keeping response rates high. For additional tips on how to improve course evaluation results using feedback from your students and to increase response rates, please visit our site or contact the Faculty Center for individual assistance.

What will happen to response rates if the evaluation is online?

With the paper instrument the campus response rate (of useable response forms) was effectively 70% and we are working toward meeting and exceeding that response rate for the online system. In a pilot conducted in Fall 2010 with 250 course sections, the response rate was 53%; however that has dropped to 43% in Spring 2011 and 36% in Fall 2011 as the system was implemented on the West, Southampton and Manhattan campuses (the Health Sciences on East campus were not included in the initial implementation). Data from other universities suggest that when moving to an online system the response rates do initially drop, however an increase is seen as students use the system from freshman through senior years and online course evaluations become a cultural norm. Several studies have also shown that the best way to encourage your students to respond is to share with them why their feedback is important to you and what you do with the information. Most students don't believe faculty even read the evaluations and report that they would be more likely to complete the online course evaluations if they believed they were read and used for improving teaching and education on campus.

What is Stony Brook doing to improve response rates?

The University is exploring several options to encourage students to complete their course evaluations, including offering random prize drawings and making the evaluation responses available for students who complete all of their evaluations. While the idea of requiring students to complete the evaluations has been considered, research suggests that while response rates may increase, the quality of the data declines. Since implementing the online system, faculty have reported that the quality of the feedback they receive in the written comments has improved.

How can I improve my course evaluation response rates?

Listed here are tried-and-true ways to increase response rates to your course surveys. If you have other ideas or suggestions that have worked for you, please let us know! Email the CELT Course Evaluation Team at CourseEval@stonybrook.edu

Getting Response Rates Tip 1:

It would be very helpful if you set aside five minutes at the beginning of class to speak with students about the evaluation process. Mentioning the following items will greatly increase your chances of success:
Tell students that the evaluation period has begun.
Give students a few specific examples of how you used feedback from past course evaluations. For example: "Last semester the evaluations said I should make better use of the course website, and that is why this year I have been posting notes online."
Tell students that their responses are completely anonymous, and that teachers will only see results after grades are released.
Going over this information at the start of the evaluation period will set the stage for a strong response rate in your class and for the university as a whole.
It is important to help students understand that their feedback is greatly valued by you personally, as well as by the school. So, as you are able, please remind your students to complete their course evaluations.

Getting Response Rates Tip 2:

As an instructor you can email your students from our system! The email will be sent only to students in all of your classes who have not completed their evaluations. The emails will be anonymous, so you will not know who they are being sent to. This provides an excellent way for students to understand how important it is to complete their evaluations. To edit the emails, click on Email Students in the header menu.

Getting Response Rates Tip 3:

Print out reminders that you can hand out to students in class.

Getting Response Rates Tip 4:

You can keep the students aware of their progress by just writing the response rates on the board at the beginning of each class. This takes a lot of the pressure off of you reminding them. You could also project the response rates for all your classes using the data below and have a competition between classes for the highest response rate.

Getting Response Rates Tip 5:

Let the students know they can complete the surveys on their smartphones using the URL: https://www.stonybrook.edu/evaluate

 

Suggested Resources

Video: Strategies for Increasing Response Rates with Mike Algozzine from UNCC

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