Course Learning Evaluation (CLE)
Click here for instructions on how to access your Course Learning Evaluation results.
There are two primary purposes for Course Learning Evaluations at UTC. The first is
to help UTC make decisions about faculty. The teaching competence of the faculty is
one of the primary issues considered in decisions about retaining and rewarding faculty.
Students’ ratings of their instructors are an important, but not exclusive, source of information about this critical activity. Numerical ratings from each
class are combined to produce class, course, subject, department, college, and university-wide
averages, which are made available to the provost, deans, department heads, and instructors.
The second reason for the course evaluation process is to provide feedback to help
each individual instructor improve the quality of instruction. Written comments are
particularly valuable in this respect. Thus, students are requested to spend at least
5 minutes responding to the open-ended questions. Open-ended student responses are
available to the Department Head, but are used primarily by instructors to help them
improve their class in future semesters.
Faculty Evaluation at UTC
All tenure-track and tenured faculty in the University of Tennessee System are required
by the “Board of Trustees Policies Governing Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and
Tenure” to participate in annual Performance and Planning reviews as a mandatory term of employment. At UTC, Faculty Evaluation and Development by Objectives (EDO) defines the process for these reviews. The EDO process is based on identifying
objectives, establishing a realistic program for obtaining these objectives, and evaluating
and rewarding performance in achieving them. Evaluation of faculty performance is
an essential component of the EDO process, providing formative and summative assessment
of the individual’s performance so that he/she can maintain or improve subsequent
performance; serving as a basis for promotion, tenure, salary, and other decisions;
and providing accountability with regard to the quality of teaching, research and
service. Complete guidelines for faculty evaluation are found in the UTC Faculty
Handbook. Click here for guidelines.
All classes are evaluated every semester, other than those courses identified as having
one of the following instructional methods: thesis, dissertation, independent study,
clinical, co-op, exchange, and student teaching. The Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research (OPEIR) administers the course evaluations using online survey software. The application
used by UTC, SurveyDig, was selected because of its compatibility with the University’s Banner student information
system and its rapid reporting capability. Students are asked to respond honestly
and openly to 15 questions, most using a seven-point Likert scale and some open-ended.
These questions are related to course learning outcomes, student contributions to
learning, course content and delivery, and course instruction. These items were deemed
by the Course Learning Evaluation committee to be indicators of student learning.
Programs have the option of asking students to respond to additional questions specific
to instruction within their disciplines. One evaluation is used for all course modalities
(face-to-face, online, hybrid).
Course evaluations are opened to students three weeks prior to the last day of classes.
Students access course evaluations through MyMocsNet or links, which are automatically
emailed to them. They then have the entire three-week period (through Reading Day)
to complete the process of rating their classes.
Shortly after final semester grades are turned in, results of the course evaluations
are made available to faculty. Results are available for classes with 5 or more responses or
as long as there is at least a 50% response rate. Means, medians, frequency and percent
distributions, verbatim responses to open-ended questions, as well as comparative
measures are provided to each faculty member. Each department head also is given access
to Course Learning Evaluation results for all faculty in his or her department.
Course Learning Evaluation
Course Learning Evaluations are but one of numerous factors considered in the assessment of teaching effectiveness at UTC as described
above. Academic administrators and faculty committees use results of Course Learning
Evaluations as one source of information when making decisions about faculty continuation,
promotion, and tenure, while faculty use them to identify strengths and weaknesses
in their teaching and to devise means of improving student learning.
Individual faculty and collective departmental data from these course evaluations
might also be used to determine changes to instructional strategies, curriculum, as
well as individual courses and sequencing. In this way, these data can serve as indicators
of programmatic instructional effectiveness related to student learning outcomes.
Click here for Institutional Effectiveness information.
There are many campus resources available to help faculty use the results of the student ratings to improve their teaching. Click here for information on best practices.
In addition, the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning provides numerous faculty development opportunities that are open to all faculty. Click HERE to visit their website.
Faculty, Heads, and Deans – Access to Student Rating Results
Access to the SurveyDig course evaluation system is closed to students at 11:59pm on Reading Day and is therefore
not open for students to evaluate courses and instruction during final exams. Results
of the process are not made available to faculty until all grades are submitted to
On the day following the grade-reporting deadline, summaries of Course Learning Evaluation results are available for viewing by class, course, subject, department, and college. Viewing access is limited as follows:
- Faculty may only access their own Course Learning Evaluations in classes they taught.
- Heads may view only results for faculty in the department for which the head has oversight.
- Deans may only view results for faculty teaching in departments within their colleges.