Suggested Questions & Categories for Course Evaluations

The adoption of end-of-term evaluation question items listed on this page helps to ensure that you will solicit informative feedback - feedback that can be used for teaching improvement and evaluation. When adoption occurs across a department, it allows for robust analysis and reporting that can further inform both course-level pedagogy and program-level curriculum.

The question items contained on this page were developed by faculty focus groups stemming from the Taskforce on Teaching Evaluation in 2009, with additional input and revisions provided from the Academic Senate's Committee on Teaching.  These question items are being implemented as part of the electronic Course Evaluations service.  Questions items are being made available to all academic departments who might be interested in revising end-of-term evaluations. 

If your department wishes to adopt these questions, and/or move to the electronic Course Evaluations service:

Based on faculty feedback, bolded questions reflect the default within each category.  However, departments may choose any item(s) that they prefer within a category.

CATEGORIES

  1. Instructor/GSI-Specific Question Themes
  2. Course-Specific Question Themes
  3. Student Self-Evaluation Questions
  4. Open-Ended Questions

CATEGORY 1: Instructor/GSI-Specific Question Themes

Presentation of Content

  1. The instructor (or GSI) clearly presented the skills to be learned
  2. The instructor (or GSI) effectively presented the tools (e.g. materials, skills, and techniques) needed
  3. The instructor (or GSI) effectively presented concepts and techniques
  4. The instructor (or GSI) presented content in an organized manner

Clarity of Expectations or Directions

  1. The instructor (or GSI) explained concepts clearly
  2. The instructor (or GSI) made the elements of good writing clear
  3. The instructor (or GSI) clearly articulated the standards of performance for the course
  4. The instructor (or GSI) provided guidance for understanding course exercises
  5. The instructor (or GSI) increased my understanding of course material

Helpfulness/Availability

  1. The instructor (or GSI) helped me achieve my goals
  2. The instructor (or GSI) helped me define the goals and scope of the project
  3. The instructor (or GSI) helped me identify resources I needed to carry out the project
  4. The instructor (or GSI) was helpful when I had difficulty performing activities
  5. The instructor (or GSI) was helpful to me individually (in conferences, email exchanges, etc.)
  6. The instructor (or GSI) was readily available during the class
  7. The instructor (or GSI) provided help when I had difficulties
  8. The instructor (or GSI) was helpful when I had difficulties or questions

Useful/Clear Feedback on Performance

  1. The instructor (or GSI) provided clear constructive feedback
  2. The instructor (or GSI) provided useful feedback on my writing
  3. The instructor (or GSI) provided meaningful feedback on my work
  4. The instructor (or GSI) provided meaningful guidance on my progress/work
  5. The instructor (or GSI) provided constructive feedback in response to difficulties with the language
  6. The instructor (or GSI) gave me constructive feedback
  7. The instructor (or GSI) gave me constructive feedback on assignments
  8. The instructor (or GSI) clearly articulated the standards of performance

Encouraging of Participation/Discussion

  1. The instructor (or GSI) engaged the class in productive discussions
  2. The instructor (or GSI) guided the discussion well
  3. The instructor (or GSI) encouraged student contributions
  4. The instructor (or GSI) provided opportunities for class participation
  5. The instructor (or GSI) encouraged critical engagement with the material
  6. The instructor (or GSI) encouraged student questions and participation
  7. The instructor (or GSI) encouraged participation

Overall Teaching Effectiveness

  1. How successful was the instructor (or GSI) in creating an environment that was conducive to learning?
  2. How would you rate the overall effectiveness of the instructor’s (or GSI’s) teaching?
  3. MANDATORY: Considering both the limitations and possibilities of the subject matter and the course, how would you rate the overall effectiveness of this (graduate student) instructor?

CATEGORY 2: Course-Specific Question Themes

Course Content (Organization, Clarity of Expectations/Directions, Balance/Appropriateness)

  1. The course (or section) presented skills in a helpful sequence
  2. The course (or section) provided an appropriate balance between instruction and practice
  3. The course (or section) was appropriate for the stated level of the class
  4. The course (or section) was organized in a way that helped me learn
  5. The course (or section) provided a mixture of explanation and practice
  6. The course (or section) was effectively organized
  7. The course (or section) assignments and lectures usefully complemented each other
  8. The course (or section) instructions (including, manuals, handouts, etc.) were clear
  9. The course (or section) work helped me understand concepts more clearly
  10. Instructions for course (or section) materials (including manuals, handouts, etc.) were clear
  11. The lab complemented my understanding of the lectures
  12. The section helped to complement the lectures
  13. Increased or Developed Skills/Knowledge (Thinking, Writing, Application, Knowledge, Communication, Ethics): General/overall learning & content-specific learning are possible sub-categories within this set (see i and ii below). perhaps we need one question from each.

Application & Specific Skill Development

  1. The course (or section) developed my ability to interact with diverse groups of people
  2. The course (or section) provided guidance on how to become a competent professional
  3. The course developed my ability to read and think critically
  4. The course (or section) helped me improve my writing
  5. The course (or section) developed my ability to provide constructive critiques to others
  6. The course (or section) helped me make progress in my acquisition of the language
  7. The course (or section) helped me conceptualize and present my ideas in my artistic medium
  8. The course (or section) helped me understand ethical issues involved
  9. The course (or section) developed my communication/presentation skills
  10. The course (or section) developed my abilities and skills for the subject

Theory/Content Knowledge

  1. The course (or section) developed my ability to apply theory to practice
  2. The course (or section) provided the opportunity to practice the skills required in the course
  3. The course (or section) allowed me to synthesize fundamental knowledge and skills
  4. The course (or section) gave me a deeper insight into the topic
  5. In this course (or section), I learned a great deal
  6. The course (or section) improved my problem-solving skills
  7. The course (or section) developed my ability to think critically about the subject

Course Overall

  1. How satisfied were you with this course (or section)?
  2. Considering both the limitations and possibilities of the subject matter and the course, how would you rate the overall effectiveness of this course? (ALL formats except: Discussion & Problem)

CATEGORY 3: Student Self-Evaluation Questions

  1. How many class (or section) sessions did you attend?
  2. On average, how many hours per week have you spent on this course (or section), including attending classes, doing readings, reviewing notes, writing papers, and any other course-related work?
  3. How satisfied were you with your effort in this course (or section)?

CATEGORY 4: Open-Ended Questions

  1. Please identify what you consider to be the strengths of the course (or section).
  2. Please identify area(s) where you think the course (or section) could be improved.
  3. Feedback for other students: What advice would you give to another student who is considering taking this course (or section)? [1]

[1] A department may participate in electronic Course Evaluations without offering the student-to-student question.