Class Climate: End of Semester/Session Evaluation Preparation

Preparing Course Evaluations

(Quick help shortcuts below in process order:

Verify Instructors and Courses

Grouping Sections/Courses (Optional)

Cross-Listed Courses

Questionnaire Status

Determine Timeline

Notify Instructors

Generate Surveys

Verify Surveys

Check Distribution

Check Response Rate

Participation Tracking

Extending a Deadline or Unlocking

Following Evaluation Period

Download the Introduction to Class Climate Guide (PDF)

Verify Instructors and Courses

To produce a course list for a department download a .csv using the web tool in Class Climate.

  • The Class Climate database is populated by instructors listed as Role 1 from Office of the Registrar which congruently meets the definitions outlined by the Office of Institutional Research. From the Office of the Registrar site:

    Instructor role is required for all instruction types; percent of time is only required for role 1.  Role 1 should be assigned to any instructor directly involved in the instruction of students.  If more than one instructor is assigned to role 1, the percent of time should be divided so that the total is 100%.

  • Courses are populated from the Office of the Registrar’s database by ITS between 9:30 am – 11:00 am each morning
  • It is a best practice to not evaluate courses that have fewer than 5 graded students registered (anonymity cannot be assured).

Grouping Sections/Courses (OPTIONAL)

When there are multiple sections of a course being taught by an instructor departmental administrators may create a grouped course. To create a new Group Course a new option is now available to change the type of course. Originally all group courses were given the LEC course type.  Now you can choose three other course types: LECGRP, DISGRP and LABGRP.

Things to consider when using this optional tool:

  • Grouped courses (LEC, LECGRP, DISGRP and LABGRP) will appear soon after 9:30am the day after you make the grouping requests.
  • Once grouped the system is unable to separate the report by course/section/instructor.
  • LEC, LECGRP, DISGRP and LABGRP course types are kept up to date as students add/drop from the ‘real’ courses assigned to the group course.
  • Individual courses used to make up a group course will remain in the system. It is important to only evaluate the LEC, LECGRP, DISGRP and LABGRP (combined sections/course) and not both the newly grouped courses and the individual courses.
  • Visit web grouping tool website to group courses/sections into one group. Note: There is this prompt on the creation page “Select alternate course type if the default LEC is not desired” with a drop down menu to select the different course types LECGRP, DISGRP and LABGRP.
  • Note: Check the course type filters on your questionnaire to ensure that the new combined course types are selected. Go to the questionnaire tab, locate the questionnaire, go to questionnaire details (click on the name or use the action menu on the far right), go to the bottom of the screen, Go to the course type filters, select ALL or make sure the courses types associated with the questionnaire are selected, click apply.

Cross-Listed Course Evaluations

CELT encourages the instructors’ home departmental administrators to contact the departmental administrator to find out whether or not the evaluation will be conducted by the department.  If the department will be sending out an evaluation we encourage the administrator to contact the instructor(s) and the home department administrator. In addition, we encourage the instructors’ home department to request a copy of the evaluation results for the administrator and/or chair for record keeping.

Questionnaire Status

Log in to the system, and click on the “Questionnaires” tab on the top menu – go to the questionnaire details (Click on the name of the questionnaire or use the drop down menu and select Details) – Click on “Preview Online Survey” (right top) view the questionnaire (Print it and share with your department).

If there are changes or “custom” questions to be used each semester – make a copy of the primary questionnaire and update/change/add questions or add temporary questions using the Instructor Optional Questions tool.

Deactivate Questionnaires (Don’t Delete): Don’t delete a questionnaire because all corresponding surveys and results will be deleted and are unrecoverable. To deactivate older versions of questionnaires, go to the questionnaire tab, locate the questionnaire to be deactivated; then, go to the questionnaire details (click on the name of the questionnaire or use the action menu on the right side and select details). Deactivate the questionnaire by using the drop-down menu (left side of the window), and clicking apply. The deactivated questionnaire will no longer appear when generating new surveys.

Visit Creating & Editing a Questionnaire website.

Determine Timeline

Effective practices include:

  • waiting until the final drop class date to set-up evaluations
  • available for 10-14 days with least 2-3 reminders during the time period
  • the best time to administer teaching evaluations is during the week prior to the last week of teaching (SET Effective Practices).
  • set up your evaluations before the best practices date — Class Climate becomes congested when there are so many people trying to generate surveys, and taking evaluations at the same time.
  • set up your initial email to students to be delivered the evening before (after 5:00pm) or early in the morning (before 7:00am) as this helps with any server congestion.
  • completed prior to the end of semester grade submission deadline

Notify Instructors

Send out informative letter/email to instructor(s) about the process, timeline, a PDF of the email students with the evaluation start and end dates (Information for Instructors) and what courses will be evaluated. Encourage instructors to wait to hold in-class evaluation time until after the third full day of the course evaluation period. Share the course list with which surveys are generated with your instructors via CyBox to insure that the course evaluations are set-up.

Generate Surveys

Update invitation emails (text templates) and never have to update them again

  • We wanted to let you know that we have updated the system text template to use the [TASK_SURVEY_CLOSE_DATE]. The [TASK_SURVEY_CLOSE_DATE] will insert the final scheduled task date as a date MM/DD/YYYY. If you choose to restore default text (see the video link below) you will NEVER have to update the text template again. Plus, the students will ALWAYS have the correct date that is ending. The only two templates that need to be updated are:
    • E-MAIL: PSWDs for online survey participant
    • E-MAIL: Remind online survey participant
  • View How to Restore Default Text in the Text Templates video
  • Do not change anything within [BRACKETS] these are placeholders that is merged with database information.

Generate surveys  (Video)(Guide)

  • IMPORTANT: Make sure you have your invitation or reminder emails to go out before 7am or after 5pm – this helps with the mail server when sending out 200,000 emails.
  • Do not have course evaluations end at midnight – this is confusing for students – choose a time that is universal (e.g., 10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m., etc.)
  • View Presentation video [9m] Brief PowerPoint overview of text template edit and generating surveys.
  • View Generate Surveys for 1 Department/Program video [5m 55s])
    • Benefits:
      • Useful for 1 department
      • Course types are auto listed as a filter
      • Courses are listed by instructor
  • View Generate Surveys – Tree Structure – Multiple Departments/Programs video [11m 15s]
    • Download Using Tree Structure in Class Climate Guide PDF
    • Benefits:
      • Useful for more than 1 department using 1 questionnaire for all courses in all departments
      • Course types are optional as a filter
      • Courses are listed by course and course number. This provides an easy way to select/deselect courses by course level.
      • Courses may be listed by instructor (using the check-box)
  • Important steps to remember:
    • select PSWD based
    • select “Use Time Control”
    • click [Generate surveys]
    • Schedule the tasks: 1. Start Survey 2. Reminders 3. Response Rate (optional) 4. End Survey
    • Click [Apply to All] (for multiple surveys) or [Save] (for one survey)
    • This saves the scheduled tasks for ALL surveys in your queue.
    • Check “Scheduled Tasks” (left menu item) after the surveys are generated (Video)
    • Notify course-evaluation@iastate.edu if errors are found

Verify Generated Surveys

  • Click on “Display Courses” (left menu)
  • Highlight the filters (Department, Semester) Note: You may only do 1 department at a time.
  • Click “Show”
  • Click the course name to Sort the list by Course Name
  • The second column from the right will show surveys:
    • 0/0 – no survey
    • 0/1 – survey created/in-progress
    • 0/2 – two surveys are attached to the course – departmental administrators are encouraged to use the display surveys option (left menu) and see if there are two different questionnaires attached to the course. If so, the departmental administrator should use the delete survey option (left menu) to delete the survey that was generated by mistake.
    • 1/1 – survey ended/closed
    • 1/2 – there was a mid-semester survey and there is now one in progress
  • If there is no survey created – and it should have one – generate those surveys
  • Copy and paste the list into excel if needed

Start of Evaluation Period

Check distribution

If you would like to make sure your surveys have been emailed out to the participants you may see the progress online by doing the following:

  1. Login to Class Climate website
  2. Click on Display Surveys (left menu)
  3. Select filters (subunit, instructor, period, etc.) and click show
  4. Click on the survey link
  5. Survey details will appear with 4 quadrants
  6. Click on Send reminder to respondents  (lower left quadrant)— this will bring up a new screen called Send reminder to respondents
  7. The forth column is “Details”
  8. Click on SHOW
  9. It will show a list of the participants who have received the email – and the status, etc.

Participation tracking

Make sure you are following any specific departmental guidelines with respect to participant tracking.  There is absolutely no way to connect answers to any specific participant.

  1. Login to Class Climate website
  2. Click on Participation Tracking (left menu)
  3. Select filters (subunit, instructor, period, courses, etc.) and click Request
  4. Save File
  5. Open the .csv
  6. Delete the Password column if it will be used for Instructors
  7. Email it to the instructor

Check response rate

  1. Login to Class Climate website
  2. Go to “Batch Export” on the left menu
  3. Click on the radio button next to Response Rates
  4. Select the subunit, survey period, course type, questionnaire
  5. Select the course(s)
  6. Click Request
  7. Import .txt or .csv into Excel

Extending a deadline or unlocking a survey

If your surveys have not yet closed, and you want to extend a deadline

  1. Login to Class Climate website
  2. Click on Display Surveys (left menu)
  3. Select filters (subunit, instructor, period, etc.) and click show
  4. Click on the survey link
  5. Survey details will appear with 4 quadrants
  6. Check to see if the survey is locked if it is- click Unlock Data Collection, Open Survey (lower left quadrant)
  7. Click on Scheduled Tasks (There will be a YES or NO option –click YES – if you generated MULTIPLE SURVEYS at once if you change something it will be applied to all the others within that survey batch -or- click NO if the update is only for the one survey)
  8. NOTE: You will do this backwards from how you set-up surveys (do not edit the First Task)
  9. Go to Step 4 FINISH SURVEY and click EDIT Click on the calendar icon and select your date and time
  10. Click on APPLY TO ALL (or SAVE if it is for one survey)
  11. Go to the Step 2 Online Survey Reminder and click EDIT and Click on the calendar icon and select a new date and time
  12. Click on APPLY TO ALL (or SAVE if it is for one survey)
  13. IMPORTANT: Do not update the first task as it will error
  14. Click on Scheduled tasks (left menu) to see if the new day/times are properly set

Following the evaluation period

NOTE: Work with department chairs to verify when course evaluations should be sent to instructors and do not send out course evaluation reports until 90 minutes to 2 hours after grades the grade submit deadline.

REMINDER: In an effort to reduce the size of database to make for faster processing of admin and survey requests – it is Iowa State University’s practice (beginning in 2013) to remove courses from previous semesters that do not contain any surveys:

  • We would not do this cleanup until after a 60-90 day time period following the semester.
  • We would ONLY be deleting courses without any surveys attached to them.

Extra Materials