Student Rating of Faculty (SRF)

Click here for instructions on how to access your Student Rating of Faculty results.

Class Evaluations – Student Rating of Faculty

There are two primary purposes for Student Rating of Faculty 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 rating 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 SRF 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.  All students are asked to rate seven aspects of their classes on a Likert-type scale.  These items were deemed by the Student Rating of Faculty committee to be indicators of student learning.   Additionally, all students are asked to respond to four open-ended questions eliciting student ideas for improvement of curriculum and methodology.  Several programs ask students to respond to additional questions specific to instruction in those disciplines.   Students in online classes are also asked to rate the effectiveness of web-based instruction.   

Course evaluations are opened to students three weeks prior to the last day of classes.  Students access course evaluations through their web portal or links, which are automatically emailed to them.  They then have the entire three-week period (through the last day of classes) 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 and for courses with fewer than 5 students enrolled, results are available 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 Student Rating of Faculty results for all faculty in his or her department.  

Student Rating of Faculty Instruction

Student ratings of faculty instruction 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 student class ratings 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 student ratings 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 midnight on the last scheduled day of regular classes, and is therefore not open for students to rate faculty during final exams.  Results of the process are not made available to faculty until all grades are turned in to the Registrar. 

On the day following the grade-reporting deadline, summaries of student rating results are available for viewing by class, course, subject, department, and college.  Viewing access is limited as follows:

  • Faculty may only access their own student ratings in classes they taught.
  • Heads may view only results for faculty in the department the head has oversight for.
  • Deans may only view results for faculty teaching in departments within their colleges.