Surveys now available for student evaluation of teachers, courses

Students may fill out a Student Evaluation of Teaching survey for each of their courses, and it will take about 15 minutes to finish each survey. (screenshot/Student Evaluation of Teaching)

Students may fill out a Student Evaluation of Teaching survey for each of their courses, and it will take about 15 minutes to finish each survey. (screenshot/Student Evaluation of Teaching)

Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) surveys are now available for University of Connecticut students to complete with feedback about their spring semester courses and professors.

According to the survey instructions, student participation is voluntary and answers are confidential. Students may fill out a survey for each of their courses, and it will take about 15 minutes to finish each survey.

The surveys ask students a series of questions about their courses, such as how difficult they found them to be and how much they feel they have learned from them.

“Students received an email on April 14 to notify them that the surveys are available,” university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in an email.

Reitz said that students have two weeks to complete the surveys. Students may access them with the link included in the April 14 email, or by logging onto their HuskyCT homepage during the two-week window in which the surveys are open.

Erica Hoffmann, an eighth-semester human development and family studies major, said that each semester she usually completes surveys for around three out of the five classes that she typically takes.

“I feel like I fill them out only if they’re for a really good class or for a really bad class,” Hoffmann said.

Cassie Franco-Camacho, a sixth-semester communication major, said that she executes a similar number of surveys and classes each semester. She added that professors motivate her to fill out the surveys in some instances.

“I’ll fill it out if a professor says it’ll really help out their department, or if I think a professor really needs to make an improvement to their course,” Franco-Camacho said.

Reitz said the surveys give students the opportunity to express their thoughts about their courses and how those courses were taught.

“UConn prides itself on having an excellent teaching faculty, and we’re always looking for feedback to recognize and improve the quality whenever possible,” Reitz said. “The responses from students’ surveys help the faculty to identify areas of strength and weakness in their teaching, and they can use that knowledge to keep improving.”

Hoffmann said that she has conflicting feelings about the choice that some professors make to offer extra credit to students who fill out the surveys.

“I like when professors give us incentives like extra credit for filling (the surveys) out, but they almost shouldn’t have to,” Hoffmann said. “I kind of feel bad when they do.”

Hoffmann said that she appreciates that the surveys allow students to voice their opinions about their courses.

“I think it’s good as long as the university actually uses the feedback,” Hoffmann said. “It’s important for students’ voices to be heard. If they don’t like a class or they thought the exams were unreasonable, or that there was too much reading or the class material didn’t correspond well, they should be able to express that.”

The survey results contribute to reports which the university uses to analyze its teaching, Reitz said.

“The aggregate responses from the surveys are used to produce reports that help UConn determine areas of particular strength in our teaching ranks, areas where we may want to invest time and energy for improvement, and broader trends over time,” Reitz said.

I think it’s good as long as the university actually uses the feedback. It’s important for students’ voices to be heard. If they don’t like a class or they thought the exams were unreasonable, or that there was too much reading or the class material didn’t correspond well, they should be able to express that.
— Erica Hoffman

Patricia Sundman, a sixth-semester anthropology major, said that she makes a point of filling out the surveys because she feels that instructors show that they genuinely want to receive feedback from their students.

“I always fill them out unless I somehow forget,” Sundman said. “I know it’s important to instructors and they always ask students in-person, in class—they make sure to mention it—so I just want to give them good feedback that might be helpful for them the next time they teach the class.”


Alexandra Retter is staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at alexandra.retter@uconn.edu.