Guidelines for Faculty-Added Questions

Instructors may add up to four questions to the ratings survey for each of their courses. Adding questions is entirely optional, and if you do not wish to add questions, no action is required. This option provides faculty with a valuable opportunity to obtain student feedback for a particular class during a particular term. The sole purpose of these questions is to enable faculty to receive feedback on their teaching; the faculty member will thus be the only person to view responses to the added questions.

The purpose of these questions is to allow faculty members to gain specific information for reflection on and improvement of instruction. Faculty may want to ask students about a particular pedagogical technique, assignment, or reading, for example. Particularly when using new readings, incorporating different pedagogical techniques, or integrating new resources, faculty members may find it useful to get student reactions to help them make decisions for the next time they teach the course. The added questions are best constructed around specific aspects of teaching and course design under a faculty member's control. The questions should not ask students for comparisons with other courses or for broader feedback related to a program or division. 

Faculty-added questions may be quantitative, qualitative, or a combination of the two. Faculty may choose to design their own questions or select questions from the question bank below. The question bank is offered as a resource to help faculty choose questions to ask their students. All of these questions have been written by experts in the field of survey research and tested for psychometric reliability. Additional questions for the bank may be suggested by faculty members and will be reviewed by the staff in Institutional Research to ensure they are written in accordance with survey design principles. In addition, the lead evaluation system administrator will review faculty-designed questions (but not responses) in order to create a separate bank of sample questions for use by faculty. 

Each term faculty may add custom questions during the two weeks prior to the course ratings period. Here are the instructions for adding questions (PDF).

Tips for Designing Course Ratings Questions

Keep questions simple, using concise language that students will understand. Straightforward questions are easier for students to respond to, and responses are easier for instructor to interpret.  

Focus on the student's individual perspective, and avoid questions that ask a student to assess what other students think. For example, students can more accurately respond to "I felt comfortable enough to ask questions" than to "Students in this course felt comfortable enough to ask questions." 

Ask about things students can remember, describe, or evaluate. For example, students are rarely able to evaluate an instructor's expertise in a subject but can comment on how effectively the instructor promotes student learning in that area. 

Preserve anonymity. Do not include questions that allow you to identify the responses of individual students.   

Question Bank

The questions below have already been entered into the evaluation system and can be chosen by faculty members as additional questions. 

Instructor's Teaching Methods/Qualities

The instructor taught near the class level 
The instructor motivates me to do my best work
The instructor stimulates intellectual curiosity
The instructor demonstrated how the course was related to practical situations
The instructor defined realistic objectives for the students
The instructor's voice was understandable
At times, it was difficult to hear what the instructor was saying
The instructor talks at an appropriate pace
The instructor encouraged independent thought
The instructor emphasizes conceptual understanding of material
The instructor effectively blends facts with theory
The instructor helps me to apply theory to solve problems
The instructor encourages student creativity
The instructor is available during office hours

Instructor, General

I would recommend this instructor to a fellow student 

Course Structure/Attributes

The course was intellectually exciting
The objectives of the course were well explained
Too much material was covered in this course
The course material was presented at a satisfactory level of difficulty
This course was too easy for me
This course was too difficult for me
Relative to other courses, the grading in this course was harder
The assignments were challenging
Relationships among course topics are clearly explained
The sequence of course content facilitates my learning
Student presentations significantly contribute to this course
Frequent attendance in this class is essential to good learning  
Because of the way this course used technology I was better able to understand the ideas and concepts that were taught in this course

Team Teaching Questions

Instruction was well coordinated among the team members
Team teaching provided insights that a single instructor could not

Field Trips

The field trips were useful learning experiences
The field trips fit in with the course objectives

Relationship to Student's Career

This course material is pertinent to my professional training
This course gives me skills and techniques directly applicable to my career
I can apply the learning in this class to work in my future profession

Student Background, Preparation, and Engagement

I always prepare before coming to class
I keep up with the reading assignments for this course
I am able to keep up with the work load in this course
I feel that I performed up to my potential
I had a strong desire to take this course
I enjoyed going to class
I asked for clarification when I didn't understand the material
I was encouraged by the instructor to take responsibility for my own learning
I actively participated in scheduled discussions about course material
I spent more time studying for this course than for other courses with the same amount of credit
I am motivated to discuss new ideas outside of class
I felt comfortable telling the instructor of this course when I disagreed with something s/he said
As a result of this course, my interest in the subject material has increased
I learned more in this course than I expected to learn
I feel that I am an important member of this class

Questions on Student Learning

This course improved my writing skills
This course improved my oral communication skills
This course improved my ability to read critically
This course improved my research skills
This course improved my factual knowledge
I learned how to locate appropriate information in this course
This course helped me develop my visual thinking abilities
This course improved my critical reasoning skills
The course helped me become a more creative thinker
The course significantly changed my outlook on personal issues
The teaching methods used in this course enable me to learn

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