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Course and Instructor Evaluations Frequently Asked Questions

The online Instructor and Course Evaluation Surveys are questionnaires that students complete to evaluate their classes. The surveys provide feedback to Clayton State University instructors, department heads and administrators about the quality of students’ educational experiences.

The Office of Institutional Research collects and analyzes the data. The Associate Provost provides oversight.

After the semester has ended and all grades have been finalized, the Office of Institutional Research creates reports that are distributed to the deans and department heads. The results are then sent to the individual instructors. Institutional Research analyzes the aggregate data and this information is used in planning curriculum.

These evaluations are very important. Department heads use these evaluations when they decide whether to rehire part-time instructors or to assign them to particular courses. Full-time faculty members are required to keep their evaluations as a part of a portfolio that a committee uses to evaluate teaching effectiveness.

These surveys are designed to help faculty members seek ways to change how they are teaching their classes. Faculty members and department heads appreciate constructive comments. If instructors are not teaching effectively in some areas, steps are taken to help them improve. The degree to which things change depends in part on the quality of the feedback that students provide through these surveys.

The online survey provides you with a great deal of anonymity. No one in the office of Institutional Research or the Provost’s Office ever sees any names of students connected to responses. Although it may be technically possible for one person in Administrative Systems to retrieve a student’s ***NAME*** from DUCK records, this information is never gathered nor is it requested. If a student puts some kind of identifying information in his or her comments, then the instructor may be able to figure out who wrote the comment. However, students must remember that the instructor does not receive these results until after the semester ends. Grades can not be affected either by a student’s praise or criticism.

There are three main reasons. First, online surveys better protect your privacy than paper and pencil surveys. Paper and pencil surveys can sometimes be read while they are being completed, they have to be handled by many people, and they can sometimes be linked to a student via the handwriting. Second, online surveys are much less expensive to administer. There is a great amount of cost associated with paper, scanning machines, and labor. Third, the information obtained via online surveys is more accurate.

The information that is gathered from the surveys is more useful at the university level if Institutional Research knows something about the students who are taking and evaluating particular courses. Students’ demographic information is necessary to help Institutional Research answer research questions to improve the quality of instruction. To protect your privacy, the surveys are not tied to any other databases which would have demographic information.

Clayton State University cares about each and every course you take. Each instructor needs feedback to make changes in the course or method of instruction. It is vital that CSU has information from as many students as possible in order to get an accurate picture of student perceptions. The surveys take some time, but the time taken is an investment in the quality of your education.

There is a set time period when the DUCK is open for these evaluations. Your instructors will give you information about when they would like you to complete them. Some instructors request that everyone in the class complete them on the same day. Some instructors use class time to complete the surveys, especially if a smart classroom is available. Other instructors will manage the evaluation process differently. Please check with your instructors for details.

The faculty members at Clayton State University created the majority of the questions. Additional questions were created to answer questions that are relevant to a particular department or school.

Once you log onto the DUCK, you will see “Important Messages.” Click on “Course Surveys.” A table will appear with a link to “Demographic Survey” and individual links to each instructor and each course. You need only complete the demographic survey one time. Answer every question on each instructor and course survey. There is room provided for specific comments.