FAQ for Instructors

Which courses will be evaluated with UB Course Evaluations?

All courses except clinical and tutorial courses will be evaluated each semester.

What types of questions are on the course evaluation?

There are multiple types of questions that can be included in an evaluation, each targeting a different aspect of the course.

How do I login?

Use your UBITName and password to log into UB Course Evaluations. Your UBITName and password are the same name and password you use to log into your UB email account. You can login using a web browser on any computer, tablet or smartphone, from on- or off-campus.

Are my responses anonymous?

Student identities are not connected to their responses in any way, provided no identifiable information was included in open-ended answers. However you may want to review the FAQ ‘Will instructors know if a particular student has completed the evaluation for their course?".

How will I know when it's time for course evaluations?

At any point in time, instructors and students may log into UBCE and see a list of open or upcoming evaluations.

Students

Students have a limited amount of time to complete their course evaluations. In general, they are available during the last 1–2 weeks of class.

Students will receive an email from UBCE on the day that evaluations open. They will receive reminder emails until they complete the evaluations or until the evaluations close. They can also log into UBCE to see the evaluations that are open, completed or recently closed.

A reminder announcement is also displayed on MyUB with a link to the course evaluation site.

Students should set up their email filters to allow emails from @smartevals.com

Instructors

Instructors will be prompted with an email from the UBCE at least one week before course evaluations are opened.

Instructors are encouraged to take measures to ensure a good student response rate, such as posting course evaluation reminders on UBlearns course sites and on course syllabus schedules.

Why can't I find my course evaluation?

Your course is not being evaluated at this time. Courses are evaluated during the last few weeks of the semester. Courses are listed in UB Course Evaluations with dates available as open, upcoming and recently closed.

Can students change their answers?

Students may only edit or change an evaluation when course evaluations are open. Once a student submits their evaluation, they will be unable to alter their answers. A student may request that an evaluation be reset while an evaluation period is open by contacting ubce@buffalo.edu.

Will instructors know if a particular student has completed the evaluation for their course?

Instructors can monitor response rates in real time and see a percentage of students who have completed an evaluation when there are five or more respondents. Student identities are not connected to their responses in any way, provided no identifiable information was included in open-ended answers.

Instructors are interested in a high rate of completion so they can get the most from evaluation results. By monitoring response rates they can more directly encourage students to respond. However, the following resolution has been adopted regarding incentivizing and encouraging course evaluation completion:

  • Identifying individual students who have completed evaluations for the purpose of awarding extra credit is not allowed. However, extra credit may be awarded to an entire class for collectively achieving a pre-determined response rate. The amount of extra credit awarded should be modest to avoid any skewing effect on the evaluations. Since research shows that prizes are not effective in incentivizing students, these should not be considered.
  • Instructors should personally remind students once a week in class during the administration period. Chairs and deans should also send personalized, not boilerplate, electronic reminders to their own majors twice during the administration period—an initial message at the beginning and a final reminder at the end. All electronic reminders, both from central administration and from departments, should be kept as short and as simple as possible to avoid “reminder fatigue” that might alienate students from the process.

How can instructors improve student response rates?

Course evaluation data will be most useful when response rates are high (at least 75 percent). Instructors can reinforce the value of course evaluations to students and administrators can perfect instructional strategies by:

  • Giving examples of how course evaluations impacted their course or their teaching.
  • “I’ve improved my course by adding more review time for exams.”
  • “I’ve shortened some readings based on comments.”
  • Telling students that you are interested in their point of view.
  • Sharing some interesting results.

How do instructors and administrators get course evaluation reports?

Instructors

For end of semester evaluations, reports are available online one day after the deadline for posting grades for each course evaluated that meets the response rate threshold of five. These reports include summaries of the quantitative items and full text of qualitative items. These reports can also be viewed and downloaded from the instructor interface.

Administrators

After logging into UBCE, administrators are able to view and download a variety of reports in a variety of formats including raw data. Administrators are also capable of creating new report formats and saving them for future reporting needs.

Can students complete course evaluations on mobile devices?

Course evaluations can be completed using a web browser on any computer, tablet or smartphone, from on- or off-campus. You can log into UBCE at any time while evaluations are open and complete one or all of your course evaluations.

How does UB use course evaluation data?

Course evaluation data is an important part of UB's commitment to academic excellence. The aggregated course-level data can help instructors:

  • Identify areas where students might need additional support.
  • Review the relevance of course content.
  • Improve the overall course and instructional strategies.
  • Improve the instructional environment and student learning at UB.