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Course Feedback FAQ

Version 2.0 (9/6/17)

End-term Feedback

Q: Where can I see all the standard end-term course feedback questions?

A: Click here to view the standard end-term course feedback questions .

Q: Is there an overall rating for the course and course instructors?

A: No, not as such. The questions in the current survey focus on student achievement of learning. Two questions address the course instruction generally: one on the quality of instruction and one on the organization of the course.

Q: Can I get feedback on an individual instructor (including myself)?

A: Yes. You can use the optional open- or closed-ended questions to survey student responses to an individual instructor, particularly in a team-taught class.

Q: How can I make sure that a teaching assistant (TA) gets feedback for their teaching?

A: TAs, and Course Assistants and Teaching Fellows, can use the teaching feedback form for assistants and fellows. In brief, the instructor must be assigned the “TA” role on a primary component class OR assigned the “Instructor” role on a secondary component class (discussion section, lab, etc.).
See also the topics under Course Scheduling Requirements, below.

Q: Can TAs also customize their evaluations?

A: TAs can select three optional questions from a question bank and one open-ended question of their own devising. This takes place later in the quarter, and the process is managed through Axess.
Click here to view the standard TA/CA evaluation questions.

Course Feedback Customization Form

Q: Can I get someone, such as a TA or department administrator, to work with me on the course feedback customization form?

A: Yes. You can add anyone with a SUNet ID as a proxy to work on the customization form with you. You can view and add proxies on the Course Customization welcome page. When working with collaborators, please bear in mind that customization choices should not be submitted until the selections have been checked and approved.

Q: I clicked on Add proxy… to set up a proxy, but nothing happened. What do I need to do?

A: Make sure you double-click Add proxy…. The Add Proxy dialog box will appear.

Q: Can I change my customization selections after I submit?

A: Yes, you can make changes after you click Submit. Submitting your changes marks the form for upload to the course survey system at the end of the customization period. However, only the user who clicked Submit can make changes. Other users (such as other course instructors or proxies) will not see the edit option after the form is submitted.

Q: How do I add more rows to a list with multiple text boxes, such as my course learning goals?

A: Click the Click to add a new row button in the top right-hand corner above the list. This button appears as a plus sign (+) on a green circle.

Q: Can I get feedback on specific course elements that I don’t see in the list?

A: You can also add custom questions to ask about specific course elements (such as feedback on oral presentations, student peer review, field exercises, etc.). Select Other from the list of course elements, and then type in your own descriptions.

Q: How can I copy or duplicate common customization specifications between my courses?

A: Make a note of the course you want to copy. Open the new course and click Copy Prior Evaluation at the top of the customization form. Select the course you want to copy and click OK.

Q: Why does my name look incorrect in the Instructor column?

A: You may see your name alongside that of another user. The other name will be that of another primary instructor or a grade proxy assigned to the course. Please note that grade proxies do not have access to the main customization form.

Q: I see the cross-listed course codes for my course. Do I have to customize all of the cross-listed courses? Can I just assume the questions from the “main” course will be duplicated?

A: Because cross-listed courses can appear under different course codes, we recommend that you copy your customization choices to each cross-listed course you see listed.

Course Reports

Q: Can I combine my reports in a PDF or Excel file?

A: You can create a batch report combining multiple reports using the Report Browser. Go to the Report Browser to find and select the reports you want to export. Click Create Batch File. On the next page, click Batch Exports . You can choose to export to a PDF file or Excel spreadsheet. If you choose a PDF file, select the matching report format in the Reports box. For example, the Course Report is suitable for course feedback results, and the Section Report for teaching feedback results (the section evaluations). Reports for older evaluations are indicated by “pre 2015-16” and are suitable for reports on data from before Autumn 2015-2016. If you choose to export to Excel, note that the quantitative Excel export uses the question abbreviations, rather than question text, as field headings.

Q: How can I get a summary of results for reporting or presentations, or if I want to run my own analysis?

A: Please contact us for a consultation about your reporting

Q: How can I print or create a PDF of my report?

A: You can view your report as a PDF that is suitable for printing or saving as a copy. To see your report as a formatted PDF, click View as PDF in the top right-hand corner of the report.

Q: What are Area Means?

A: Area means apply only to course reports before Autumn 2015-2016. Area means are not a valid statistic for reports after Autumn 2015-2016, and should be disregarded if they appear in these later reports.
Before Autumn 2015-2016, area means were a valid aggregate mean that enabled reports to compare individual means against the overall results for each school or, in the case of Humanities and Sciences, clusters within the school, such as Social Sciences and Humanities. Consequently, the area means are retained for reports before Academic Year 2015-2016. Area means were discontinued in the batch reports in Autumn 2016-2017.

Q: What is the WebOptics™ score? How is it calculated?

A: For the previous course evaluations, the WebOptics tab provided an approximate summary measure of “overall teaching quality” based on the mean of items under the “Elements of Instruction” section. This calculation has not been updated, and so it now takes all numerical scores, including those for learning goals, course elements, and so on.

With the introduction of customizable questions, the aggregation of all response items into a single score is no longer appropriate. No two instructors will necessarily be rated on the same set of questions, and instructors can validly use questions in the customized form to test areas for improvement or innovation. We strongly recommend that the “Overall Course Summary” on the WebOptics tab be disregarded.

Course Scheduling Requirements

Q: How should TAs be entered into PeopleSoft (Axess) to receive end-term feedback? 

A: The department can enter the instructor’s name in the primary component (i.e., lecture or seminar) as a TA, together with the primary instructor(s), OR in a secondary component (i.e., discussion section or lab) as the Primary Instructor.
If a TA is the instructor of a secondary component class (discussion section, lab, etc.), they should be assigned as Primary Instructor within the secondary component. You do not need to also assign them to the TA role in the primary component.
If a TA is not acting as an instructor in a specific section (in a non-enrollment section, for example), assign them as a TA in the primary component. There is no need to create “dummy” sections and assign TAs to them in order for TAs to receive evaluations.

Q: Where are the instructions for setup in Axess?

A: The Registrar’s Office support documents are online here.

Q: Can a TA get evaluated if they are listed as a TA in a primary component class (i.e., lecture or seminar)?

A: Yes, they will receive a TA evaluation and NOT a course evaluation.

Q: Can a TA get evaluated if they’re listed as a Primary Instructor in a secondary component (i.e., discussion section or lab)?

A: Yes, they will receive a TA evaluation and NOT a course evaluation.

Q: Can a TA get evaluated if they’re listed as a TA in the primary component AND as the Primary Instructor in a secondary component?

A: Yes. Note that if a TA is set up in both ways they may get two TA evaluation reports, and it may look as if one of the reports is “blank”. This only means that the system has aggregated all responses under the one section.

Key Dates

Key dates for end-term feedback.
Check the dates for end-term feedback for the academic year.


Frequently asked questions.
Answers to common questions.

Principles of Evaluation

Key principles of evaluation.
Key ideas guiding evaluations and student feedback at Stanford.