Faculty resources

 

Introduction to Course Evaluations

Learn the basics of course evaluations at UAF

Blue is the software program UAF uses for course evaluations. You only need a web browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.) and an internet connection to access Blue. Log in using your UAF credentials. 

As an instructor, you are responsible for completing these optional, but highly encouraged tasks in Blue:

1. Adding personalized questions to course surveys (A.K.A. the Question Personalization task)  (View the Guide)
2. Monitoring survey response rates (View the Guide) and taking action to increase student engagement (View the Guide)
3. Downloading survey reports after the term ends (View the Guide)

Before the course starts
Two weeks before the first day of class, you will receive an email inviting you to add personalized questions to course survey(s). Additional reminder emails will also be sent throughout the Question Personalization period. The amount of time you have to add personalized questions depends on the length of the course. A table with timeframe estimations is located further down this page, under "Question Personalization". 

During the course
Towards the end of the course, students will receive an email inviting them to complete the course survey. The amount of time students have to submit a course survey depends on the length of the course. The survey submission window is a minimum of 3 days for week-long courses and up to 3 weeks for full-term courses. 

After the course
Two weeks after the term ends, you will receive an email notification that your course evaluation reports are ready to be viewed and downloaded. 

Question Personalization is an optional, but highly encouraged task completed in Blue. Is it the act of choosing additional questions to be included on the course surveys sent to students. Adding additional questions to surveys allows you to gain more insight on how students feel about specific aspects of the course. For complete information on Question Personalization, view the guide below.

Course evaluation reports are released two weeks after the term ends. You will receive an email notification when reports are able to be viewed and downloaded. Log into Blue, and scroll down to the "Reports" section. Click on a report title to open the report.
For more detailed information, please review the guide below. 

The window when students are allowed to submit course evaluation surveys varies term-to-term and course-to-course. You can view the dates of when students can submit surveys within your Blue portal. Follow the steps below: 

1. Log into Blue
2. In the top left corner, click "Subject Management". This will open a new tab. 
3. Locate the course that you wish to find the survey submission window for. Click on "View Settings" for that course. 
4. The "Start Date" is the date and time when the survey submission window opens (students can fill out and submit an evaluation). The "End Date" is the date and time when the survey submission window closes (students are no longer allowed to fill out and submit an evaluation).  

For more detailed instructions on finding the survey submission window dates, view the Instructors Guide to Improving Response Rates.

The Survey Response Rate is the percentage of students in a class that have submitted a course evaluation survey, divided by the number of students in the class who were invited to complete the survey. Response Rates are available to view once the survey has opened to students, and are updated live. To view the Response Rate follow these steps:

1. Log into Blue
2. In the top left corner, click "Subject Management". The page will open in a new tab. 

Subject Management button location within Blue
3. You will see box(es) labeled with the names of courses you are teaching. The Survey Response Rate is displayed as a percentage within each of these boxes. 

Respone Rate location within Subject Management page

A QR Code acts like a barcode, and when scanned through a phone camera, it opens a link to a webpage. As of Fall 2023,  Instructors can display a QR code to their class so students can quickly and easily access their course evaluation. To view the QR Code, follow the steps below: 

1. Log into Blue
2. In the top left corner, click "Subject Management". This will open in a new tab.
3. Locate the course that you wish to find the QR Code for. Click on "View Settings" for that course.
4. Click on the "View QR Code" button. A new tab will open displaying the QR Code that links to that course's survey. 
5. From here, you can display the code to your class, or screenshot it for further distribution. Each QR Code is unique to that course, meaning if you teach multiple courses, you will need to display different QR Codes to each class. 

 

For more detailed instructions on using Blue QR Codes (and tips on how to use them), view the Instructors Guide to Improving Response Rates. 

There are many resources on this page for faculty, but there are also resources available to your students. 

The Student Resources page of Course Evaluations website can help your students understand the course evaluation process. This page has answers to questions commonly asked by students, a direct link to log into Blue, and the Student's Guide to Course Evaluations PDF which gives detailed instructions on how students can access and fill out surveys. 

Although these resources are available to students, not many know that they exist. You can make these resources known to your students by sending your class a email with these resources, or including links to them in your course syllabus.


QUICK LINKS AND GUIDES

 

 


HOW TO ACCESS BLUE

Blue is an online software program you can access through your browser (Chrome, Safari, Edge). To log into Blue, you need your UAF ID and password. Click the link below and enter your UAF ID and password.

 

 


QUESTION PERSONALIZATION

Question Personalization is the act of choosing additional questions that appear on the surveys sent out to students. For detailed instructions on adding personalized questions, view the Instructor's Guide to Question Personalization below. 

When the Question Personalization period opens, you will receive an email notification from uaf-course-evals@alaska.edu. Additional reminder emails will also be sent throughout the Question Personalization period. Instructors are able to add personalized questions starting 14 days before the course begins and ending 30-50% before the course end date. For normal duration courses (full-term, 107-110 days long), this means you have approximately 90 days to add personalized questions.  For shorter courses, instructors will have less time. View the table below for Question Personalization time frames.

Course Duration
Question Personalization Start
Question Personalization End
7 Days 2 weeks before the course start date 4 days after the course start date
8-21 Days 2 weeks before the course start date 50% after the course start date
22-42 Days 2 weeks before the course start date 60% after the course start date
43+ Days (including full-term courses) 2 weeks before the course start date 70% after the course start date

 


IMPROVING RESPONSE RATES

The Response Rate Monitor is a feature in your Blue portal that allows you to view response rates for courses you have, or are teaching. It contains a series of graphs and charts to help you analyze your course survey response rates. The Response Rate Monitor can be intimidating, but is also very useful in increasing student engagement. Below is a guide describing each part of the Response Rate Monitor and how to use it.

 

Increasing survey Response Rates can be a challenge, but there are actions you can take to encourage and motivate students to respond to the course evaluation survey. The guide below gives tips on what you can do to increasing survey response rates. 


REPORTS


After the term ends, instructors and supervisors will be sent an email notifying them that course evaluation reports for that term are ready to be viewed and exported. There are three types of Reports:

1. Summary Report: A summarized version of the Comprehensive Report, containing only the mean, median, minimum and maximum, standard deviation, and response count (number of students who answered) for each question. This does not include comment responses or a score comparison. 

2. Comprehensive Report: This report is generated from the same survey results as the Summary report, but contains expanded information on each question and includes all open-ended (comment) responses received for that survey. For each Core Question asked on the survey, a bar graph is given that compares your score to the average score of all instructors.

3. FDAI Course and Instructor Scores (Inspire Us Report):

You will not see this report on your Blue Dashboard. It is only accessible through the Archived Course Evaluations Google Drive and is publicly available. This report contains summarized survey results for each course and instructor organized by academic term and Blue Project.

 

 
ACCESSING AND EXPORTING REPORTS

To access reports, either follow the link emailed to you, or log into Blue (instructions on logging in above). On your Blue home page, there are two sections. The top section is titled "Tasks" and will show any active tasks, completed or uncompleted. The bottom section titled "Reports" lists the course evaluation reports you are permitted to view. 

Supervisors have access to specific Reports based on which UAF colleges and campuses they oversee. If you think there is an error in the colleges and campuses you have access to, or if you change departments within UAF, please contact the Blue Administrator at uaf-course-evals@alaska.edu

Instructors have access to specific Reports generated from courses they have taught. If there is more than one instructor teaching a course, each instructor will have their own separate Reports for that course which do not contain results for the other instructor(s). 

To export Reports to a PDF, follow these steps (Google Chrome Browser Instructions)

1. Log into Blue
2. On your Home page, locate the Report you wish to export. Click on this Report, it will open in a new tab. 
3. Underneath the Report Comments section of the document, you will see a button that says "Download PDF". Click on this button to download the PDF version of the Report. 

Butoon to download Blue Report

 


FAQ's

 

No. UAF no longer does any form of paper course evaluations. 

Students will receive an invitation email to fill out and submit the course evaluation survey towards the end of the course. Once they get this email, they can log into Blue and complete the survey. Student's will also receive 1-2 reminder emails after the evaluation window has opened. For more detailed information on how student's complete course evaluation surveys, review the Student's Guide to Course Evaluations. (Hot Tip: you can also distribute this guide to your class!)

Invitation and reminder emails are sent to the student's preferred email address (as it appears in UAOnline). If a student has not received a survey invitation email, please contact uaf-course-evals@alaska.edu

If the evaluation period is still open (students are able to submit surveys), review the Instructor's Guide to Improving Response Rates for tips on getting more survey responses. 

If the evaluation period is closed (students can no longer submit surveys), and one of these circumstances has occurred:
* The start and/or end date(s) for the course has changed
* The course was extended past the official course end date
* There were technical issues with Blue (including not being able to access Blue)
* Students did not receive survey invitation emails
* The course was taught off-the-grid/with no internet access

Please contact uaf-course-evals@alaska.edu. Requests for extending the window when students can submit course evaluation surveys can be approved or denied. 

In order for a TA or Student Instructor to be evaluated the name will need to be entered into Banner based on the connected course information. Please contact your unit’s administrative associate to have course information updated in Banner. You may also contact uaf-course-evals@alaska.edu with questions or concerns.

Reports are released to instructors no later than two weeks after the end of the term as reported in the Academic Calendar. Exceptions are made if this date falls on a weekend or a holiday. 

Question Personalization is optional, but highly encouraged. If you choose not to add additional questions, students will get the standard course evaluation survey. 

 

If you have questions about course evaluations, need help, or encounter a technical issue with Blue, contact the Blue Administrator at uaf-course-evals@alaska.edu