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Online Course Evaluation - Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Online Course Evaluation?

    The online course evaluation system replaced the traditional paper-based evaluations that had been in use at the Graduate School of Education for many years.

  2. Who is required to complete an online course evaluation?

    All seminar and regular GSE undergraduate and graduate courses have an online course evaluation. Students login to the evaluation website and complete a course evaluation for all of their courses. Students can either evaluate a course or indicate online that they opt out of that particular evaluation.

  3. What courses will participate in online course evaluation?

    All seminar and regular courses with Education course numbers will be a part of online evaluation, including courses that are cross-listed with courses in other departments at Cal. Independent and individual study (199, 299, 601, 602), field study (97, 197), and internship (400's) courses are not included. If your seminar or regular GSE course does not appear on the course list, please email gseeval@berkeley.edu.

  4. What are the questions on the evaluation?

    Currently there are three different evaluation forms, one for graduate level courses (200's), one for undergraduate level courses (<200) and one for Graduate Student Instructors (GSI's) who serve as discussion section leaders. Each form has a separate set of questions.

  5. Who will read these evaluations?

    Every evaluation is read by the instructor and may also be read by Department Chairs. Instructor's (including Professors) evaluations are used to provide feedback to faculty for course improvement and to assess the quality of faculty teaching as a part of the normal review process on campus. Graduate Student Instructors (GSI's) can access their evaluations, if they exist, through their instructor. The evaluation of GSIs is especially important, as most of them will go on to careers in teaching at a university and so seek feedback on what they are doing well and what they need to do to improve their teaching. Your evaluation can help inform a letter of recommendation that the GSI's department will write for the Graduate Student Instructor's dossier.

  6. Will students be able to see any of the evaluation results?

    No, currently evaluation results are only available to the instructor.

  7. When will the online evaluation system be available?

    For courses ending each semester, the on-line course evaluations are available during the last three weeks of instruction. For courses ending during a semester/session, special arrangements are made with each instructor.

  8. Who should I contact with comments about this program?

    Email gseeval@berkeley.edu with comments, questions, and suggestions.

STUDENTS Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I complete the online course evaluation?

    Not only do course evaluations help your instructors improve their teaching, evaluations also are an essential component of the review and promotion process for faculty. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard on an important issue: the quality of teaching at Cal.

  2. How do I access the evaluation?

    Please see the form on this site, and login with your CalNetID and passphrase. Students can evaluate courses only during restricted periods at the end of each semester. 

  3. Do I have to complete the evaluation?

    In an effort to ensure that we are providing every student an opportunity to evaluate a course/instructor, we ask that you log into the system, and either complete an on-line evaluation or actively decline to do so, for every course that requires it.

  4. Can I be sure that my comments are anonymous?

    Your evaluations are completely anonymous and confidential. They are stored in their own database from which they will be forwarded to your instructor with no identifying information, serial number, or other data that would allow your answers to be traced back to you. A separate database records the fact that you have submitted an evaluation, but it contains none of the content.

  5. I already filled out a paper evaluation for one of my courses. Do I still need to do the web evaluation?

    Yes. Some instructors will ask you to complete a paper evaluation that contains questions specific to his or her course.

  6. If I choose to "Decline to evaluate" a course, and later change my mind, can I return to the web site and evaluate the course?

    Yes, provided that you evaluate the course within the restricted time frame. However, you must contact the Evaluation Unit or Vic Wong to unlock the first submission.

  7. Should I prepare my answers before logging on to the evaluation site?

    While it is not necessary, it may be useful to do so if you plan on lengthy or detailed responses to the questions. Prepare your responses using a text editor (Microsoft Word, Notepad, SimpleText, etc.). When you log in to the evaluation site, you can copy and paste into the response areas, and perform further review and editing as needed.

  8. Can I change my mind about an evaluation?

    While editing your responses for a particular course, you can edit all of the questions in that evaluation. Once you have submitted the evaluation for a course, changes to that evaluation will no longer be possible. Thus, it is critical that you make sure that your responses are those intended for the course you are currently evaluating, and are not confused with those for another course or instructor.

  9. Is it possible to evaluate the same course more than once?

    The system records your completed evaluation for a course and will disable further opportunities for evaluation of that course. You can make arrangements with the Evaluation Unit to unlock the course and overwrite your previous responses.

  10. What kind of computer do I need to complete the evaluation?

    Any computer that has a recent web browser (Safari 1.2.4, Netscape 4 or 6.1 or above, Mozilla 1.0 or above, Microsoft IE 5 or above) and is connected to the internet will work.

  11. Can I access the evaluation from off-campus?

    Yes. The evaluation system is available from network-connected web browsers anywhere.

  12. What if my computer crashes before I submit my evaluation?

    Any information that you entered into the evaluation is lost. You will need to restart your browser and login again.

  13. Several of my courses have more than one instructor. Do I complete a separate evaluation for each?

    Yes, each instructor teaching a course should be listed in the course window. Enter your responses under the appropriate faculty names.

  14. I am from outside the department taking a course that is cross-listed with the GSE and would like to evaluate the instructor?

    If the instructor is registered with another department, it is likely that that department will have its own evaluation for the course. If this is not the case, and a student from a different department wants to evaluate the instructor, they should inform our Database Administrator at gseeval@berkeley.edu, with their student information and he will make arrangements for special access.

  15. I am from outside the department taking a course with multiple instructors, one from within the GSE and one from outside the GSE. I am interested in taking the evaluation for the GSE instructor.

    If there are multiple instructors, students from the GSE will have access to an evaluation for the instructor from the GSE. If there are any students in the course that are from outside the GSE that would like to evaluate the GSE instructor, they should inform our Database Administrator at gseeval@berkeley.edu, with their student information and he will make arrangements for special access.

FACULTY/GSI Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My course ends before the end of the semester. What should I do to make sure it's evaluated?

    If you wish for your students to evaluate your class before the regular evaluation begins (three weeks prior to the end of the semester), please contact the Evaluation Unit 3 weeks before the end of your class to make special arrangements for your students to access the system.

  2. Why would a GSE course that I am teaching not appear on my pull-down list?

    Only GSE seminar and regular meeting courses are available for evaluation. Independent and individual study (199, 299, 601, 602), field study (97, 197), and internship/field placement (300's 400's) courses are not included (there are some exceptions in the 3xx series). If your GSE seminar course does not appear on the course list, please email gseeval@berkeley.edu.

  3. Which of the courses that I teach participate in the evaluation?

    Any lower division and upper division GSE course with an Education course number will be available for online evaluation, except independent study, field study, and internship/placement courses as noted elsewhere.

  4. Can I change any of the questions on the evaluation, or can I add additional questions?

    The system does not include the ability to add custom questions. Instructors are at liberty to distribute their own paper or web-based evaluations to supplement the course evaluations as they choose.

  5. I have always used a paper form of my own design. Can I continue to use it?

    Individual course instructors may use their own hard-copy evaluation forms if they wish. This, however, will not exempt the students who are enrolled in these courses from evaluating them online. Online evaluation is requested of all Berkeley students who are enrolled in GSE courses, regardless of whether their instructors have chosen to augment the online evaluations with their own paper evaluation forms.

  6. When and how can I expect to see the results of the evaluation?

    Instructors are able to view their completed course evaluations on-line at Course Evaluation Reports after e-Grades closes. Instructors will need their CalNetID and passphrase (before the e-Grades deadline, instructors will only be able to view a count of completed evaluations). First time users will also need to send their CalNet User ID to James Hixon and wait 2 business days for an access account to be set-up. Instructions for this are on the web page. GSI's and non-UC co-instructors can ask their instructor of record or the Evaluation Unit for the report.

  7. How do I print my evaluation summaries?

    When your selected course summary is displayed, select the print command from your browser. You can then press the back arrow and select another course to view. If you have a color printer, you may want to set your browser's print preference to print background colors.

  8. Will my Graduate Student Instructor(s) be evaluated?

    For courses that have sections/labs, students will be able to pick their GSI from a pull down menu; after submitting the course evaluation they will proceed to an evaluation for the GSI. GSIs can request a copy of their evaluation from their instructor or the Evaluation Unit.

  9. How can I confirm that my GSIs will be evaluated? (Alternatively: How can I confirm I'm listed as a GSI so I can be evaluated.)

    A query is sent out to faculty during the first few weeks of the semester regarding GSIs. A follow-up email is sent requesting faculty to confirm that their GSIs are appropriately listed on this webpage. If there are any discrepancies, faculty or GSI should contact the Evaluation Unit at gseeval@berkeley.edu.

  10. What if my course is taught by multiple instructors?

    All instructors are to be evaluated for a course. The Evaluation Unit sends out a query regarding multiple instructors during the first few weeks of every semester. A list of multiple instructors is then made available on-line on the Courses webpage (see "Semester Schedules"). A follow-up query is sent asking faculty to confirm the instructor list. If there are any discrepancies, faculty should contact the Evaluation Unit at gseeval@berkeley.edu.

  11. My course is cross-listed with another department. How can I ensure that students evaluate the course?

    There are 2 scenarios with cross-listings, one involving multiple instructors and the other involving a single instructor who is cross-listed.

    Scenario 1: MULTIPLE INSTRUCTOR
    If there are multiple instructors, students from the GSE will have access to an evaluation for the instructor from the GSE. If there are any students in the course that are from outside the GSE that would like to evaluate the GSE instructor, they should inform our Database Administrator at gseeval@berkeley.edu, with their student information and he will make arrangements for special access.

    Scenario 2: SINGLE INSTRUCTOR
    If the instructor is registered with another department, it is likely that that department will have its own evaluation for the course. If this is not the case, and a student from a different department wants to evaluate the instructor, they should inform our Database Administrator gseeval@berkeley.edu, with their student information and he will make arrangements for special access.

  12. I have UC Berkeley undergrads enrolled in my class. Do I have to do anything to enable them to evaluate my class?

    As long as students enrolled in your class are UC Berkeley-enrolled students, no special steps need to be taken to allow them access to GSE course evaluations. Any student having a UC Berkeley ID will be able to evaluate GSE classes in which he or she are enrolled.

  13. I have students enrolled in my class who are not UC Berkeley-enrolled students. How can I arrange for them to evaluate my class?

    Extra steps need to be taken to allow non-UC Berkeley enrolled students access to your course for evaluations. This is true for students enrolled on other campuses and UC Extension-enrolled students. Courses having non-UC Berkeley enrolled students need to be brought to the Evaluation Unit's attention individually, at least 3 weeks before the end of the instruction, when evaluations go on-line.

    You will need to provide the course control number, as well as the class number, to the Evaluation Unit at gseeval@berkeley.edu. After the necessary work has been completed, you will be notified that your non-UC Berkeley students are able to evaluate the course. 

  14. I would like to know if my students have responded to requests to evaluate my courses. How can I determine how many of my students have evaluated my courses before the end of evaluation period? Also, is there a way to tell which students have evaluated my courses?

    To determine how many of your students have evaluated your current courses, see Course Evaluation Reports, log in, and select the specific course. Ratings will not be available until after the end of the semester when the department statistics are calculated, but the inquiry process will return the number of evaluations completed so far (if the course doesn't appear on the list, no evaluations have been submitted yet).

    The evaluation process is confidential and does not return information on students to you personally. The only way you can tell which students have completed the evaluation process is to obtain that information from the students themselves. One thing you can do is to ask students to print the confirmation page they see after they've completed the evaluation and to send it to you. This will display the course and a unique sequence number, but nothing else.