University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Student Evaluations of Teaching

What are the policies pertaining to student evaluations of teaching?

The following link connects you to the U of MN senate policies regarding how and when to give students the evaluation of teaching surveys. Note that evaluations do NOT have to be given the last day of class or along with final exams. The pressure of the final days may not be the best time to ask students for serious, constructive feedback on the learning experience. Consider making this activity a part of week 14.

Where do I get the required surveys? Where do the surveys get sent after they are completed?

The Office of Measurement Services provides information about various evaluation and report options as well as information about the response percentages and means for the required questions on the Twin Cities campus.

What kind of questions should I ask my students?

The University requires 5 questions that must be asked, but you have the option of asking students additional questions. The five required questions are intended for personnel use and not to provide information that is useful for teaching improvement. You can choose Form D from the Office of Measurement Services that contains additional questions that are more useful for teaching improvement. You can also design your own questions for inclusion on the OMS form or as a separate survey that you administer and collect separately.

Research tells us that teaching improvement from information on SETS is most likely to occur when faculty get information they value. This suggests we should create or choose to ask students about the things we most care about. We might also want to ask questions that help students reflect on their learning throughout the term. Here's a draft of an evaluation form (pdf) by Thomas Angelo that provides an example of such a form.

How do I use the information students provide to improve my teaching?

Consider talking with a consultant from the Center for Teaching and Learning or to a colleague about your evaluations. Here's a sample format for the kind of conversation you might have with a colleague.