Academic Affairs

Clark graduates with diplomas

About the eUWTE and FAQ

What is the eUWTE?

The electronic University-Wide Teaching Evaluation (eUWTE) is a questionnaire to solicit feedback from undergraduate and graduate students on courses and teaching. Feedback from students is critical to help inform improvements in the quality of instruction at Clark. Instructors benefit by learning strengths and weakness of their teaching methods.  Course evaluations are one of multiple methods used to evaluate an instructor’s teaching performance.

In Fall 2017, the Office of the Provost and the Office of Strategic Analytics and Institutional Research (STAIR) launched online course evaluations through eXplorance (explorance.com/course-evaluations), a fully-hosted online course evaluation and survey software system.  Clark University will continue to review courses using the same questions as the paper version of the UWTE: twelve questions about the course and the instructor, as well as two open-response questions.

What’s the process for administering course evaluations?

Evaluations are administered in the last several weeks of each course. The specific dates will be announced in advance. Many instructors will elect to administer their course evaluations during a class session. In these cases, the evaluations will become available to students on the date arranged by the instructor, and will remain available until the end of the evaluation period, which is generally the last day of classes.  For instructors who do not wish to administer evaluations during class, the evaluation will be available to students online at any point between the evaluation start- and end-date (emails will be sent announcing these dates, which may vary by class).

Instructors who administer in-class evaluations should announce the date to students in a class session before the scheduled in-class evaluation, and share the following information:

In a class session before in-class evaluations:

  • Instructors should ask students to bring an internet-enabled device to class on the day that evaluations will be administered. Students can use a laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.
  • Instructors should talk with their students briefly about the importance of course evaluations and how those evaluations are used.
  • Instructors should tell their students that feedback is valued and that instructors use student feedback to make improvements to courses.
  • Instructors should let students know that they are interested in both positive and critical feedback on the course. What aspects of the course and/or instruction helped students learn? What aspects might be changed to help future students learn more effectively?
  • Instructors should remind students that evaluations are completely confidential. Instructors will not be able to see any evaluations until after final grades have been submitted. Instructors will only see course evaluation results in the aggregate; they will not able to connect any particular comment to any particular student.
  • Instructors should let students know that course instructors are the primary audience for their feedback, but that others will potentially read their evaluations, including department and school administrators. Course evaluations play an important role in personnel evaluations and in curriculum planning. 

On the day of in-class evaluations:

  • Step 1. Instructors should direct students to Moodle where they will see a list of evaluations they may complete on-line. In addition, students will receive an email invitation with instructions and a list of courses in which they are enrolled. Instructors should remind students that emails have been sent to students’ official Clark email address.
  • Step 2: Please reiterate to students that evaluations are completely confidential. Instructors will not be able to see any evaluations until after final grades have been submitted. Instructors will only see course evaluation results in the aggregate; they will not able to connect any particular comment to any particular student.
  • Step 3:  Instructors should step out of the classroom while the students complete the evaluation.

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What if an instructor opts not to administer the course evaluations in a class session?

Students will receive an initial email when their course evaluations become available along with two follow-up reminders. Students will be able to complete their course evaluations using their own internet-enabled device or a computer in a Clark computer lab. Not all courses begin and end on the same schedule so these dates can vary.

When is an individual student’s evaluation considered complete?

As soon as a student completes an evaluation and clicks the “submit" button, it’s done and can’t be altered. A student will only be able to submit one evaluation per course.

Is there a deadline after which students cannot complete the evaluation?

Yes. The eUWTE system generally closes on the last day of classes @ 11:59pm (not all classes end on the same date). No one can complete a course evaluation after the evaluation closes; these dates will be announced through email instructions.  Students will also see the evaluation end dates in the “My Course Evaluation Activity (UWTE)” block located in the lower left hand column of their Moodle dashboard. Faculty should announce to students this deadline, and encourage students to complete their course evaluations by this time.

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Can a student complete a course evaluation if they miss the class session where the instructor administers it?

Yes. Once opened by an instructor, the eUWTE remains available to students outside of class until they click the “submit” button or the evaluation period for the course closes. If students do not complete their course evaluation in class, they may use any internet-enabled device, including computers in Clark computer labs, for this purpose. Course evaluation links are located in the “My Course Evaluation Activity (UWTE)” block located in the lower left hand column of their Moodle dashboard.

What if an instructor does not use Moodle for the course being evaluated?

Students will see the “My Course Evaluation Activity (UWTE)” block on their Moodle dashboard, a page visible to all students. The block will display links to course evaluations irrespective of the instructor’s use of Moodle.

When in Moodle, will a student see links to course evaluations for courses in which they are not enrolled?

No. The “My Course Evaluation Activity (UWTE)” block will display only the course evaluation links relevant to the student.

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Are the results of the eUWTE confidential?

Student evaluations are confidential and anonymous to the instructor of the course, department chairs and deans. In other words, these faculty and administrators will not be able to connect a course evaluation to a particular student submitting an evaluation.  Instructors have access only to courses they taught. Department chairs have access to results from all course evaluations within their department. Deans have access to all course evaluation results within the college. 

What do students need to bring to class to complete a course evaluation?

Students should bring an internet-enabled device to class on the day you plan to administer the evaluations. They can use a laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.

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Will students be able to see any of the evaluation results?

No. Currently evaluation results are only available to the instructor and select administrators.

Why do instructors talk to students about the importance of course evaluations?

Talking to students about how results are typically used and how to provide constructive feedback can help improve the usefulness of the results.

  1. Improve response rates and improve the value of results: Students commonly suspect that course evaluation results do not get used; this is one reason for low response rates. Demonstrating that student feedback matters can boost response rates and provide a more accurate representation of students’ experiences.
  2. Improve student engagement and learning: A conversation about evaluations can help establish rapport with students. Discussing what sorts of responses are helpful for an instructor, and why, can help students understand an instructor’s teaching methods and the course learning goals. Students tend to respond better and “step up to the plate” when they understand how teaching methods connect with learning goals.

    [From Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning, Washington State University, Elizabeth Carney, Ph.D.]

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Where can students and instructors seek help?

Accessing course evaluations and questionnaire.

For questions and concerns related to course evaluations, please email eUWTE system administrators.

Can instructors monitor response rates for their courses?

Yes. Instructors can monitor the evaluation response rates for their courses up until the last official day of the course (which is often different than the last day of class).  However instructors will only see completion rates and not information about which students in their course have completed an evaluation or any of the submitted student responses.

Instructions on how to access the response rates.

When will aggregate course evaluation feedback be made available to individual instructors and select administrators?

Course evaluation reports are generally made available approximately four weeks after the semester ends. Instructors and select administrators will receive an automated message from the eUWTE system when the reports are available for viewing.  A link to view reports is available on the left- hand side of ClarkYOU. To protect student confidentiality, courses with fewer than 5 responses will not be distributed to instructors but only department chairs and deans.

How are teaching assistants (TAs) evaluated?

Teaching assistants are not currently evaluated using the UWTE. Departments will administer paper evaluations of TAs separately.

Which courses are excluded from the eUWTE course evaluation process by default?

By default, courses with fewer than 5 students as well as directed studies, laboratory and discussion sections and honors courses are excluded from evaluations. Prior to the administration of the course evaluation period, departments will review these courses, and may opt to include any that are excluded by default.

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