Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty

General Information

How is the Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) conducted?

All undergraduate and graduate students at UD will complete their teaching evaluations online.  The university has contracted with a company called CoursEval that will conduct the evaluations online and process the results for instructors to view.  UD, however, will retain ownership of the data.

What questions are on the SET instrument?

The SET instrument consists of eight questions asking for student evaluation of teaching practices shown by research to impact student learning.  There are also four open-ended questions asking students to reflect on their experiences in the course.  You can download a copy of the SET items below and another copy for download is available on the overview page.

Click Here for SET Instrument Items (Word Document)

Why were these eight items chosen?

These items were developed through an extensive literature review, expert consultation, and rigorous psychometric testing.  They are designed to reflect four key factors associated with student learning: instructor preparation and organization, class learning environment, student-teacher relationship, and outcomes for the class.

Will the SET instrument be uniform across the University?

The eight core Likert-type prompts and four open-ended questions will be uniform across the University.  During the first two years of implementation, Deans may add a limited number of additional questions.  The School of Engineering and the School of Business Administration have decided to include additional questions.

Can additional questions be added?

For the first two years of implementation, only Deans will be able to add questions to the SET instrument.  Policy will evolve based on experience over the first two years.

What if I want to add additional questions for the courses I teach, beyond the ones on the SET instrument my students receive?

Currently this service is not be available.  However, there is a good alternative.  You can use the polling instrument available through your course Isidore site to obtain additional information regarding the individual courses you teach.  LTC staff can assist you with this.

Where can I obtain additional information about the SET instrument and procedures?

Information concerning SET can be found online at the following address: http://go.udayton.edu/set

How can I get a copy of the SET instrument?

A copy of the SET instrument students will receive can be viewed here: SET Instrument Items (Word Document)

Will the student ratings and comments on the SET instrument be anonymous?

Yes.  Current practice concerning student anonymity has not changed.  Students login is required to authenticate their course enrollment and to prevent multiple responses, but their responses are anonymous. 

Who is charged with overseeing SET?

The Academic Senate charged the Learning Teaching Center with implementing and supporting the new SET procedures.

Delivering SET

When does SET take place?

Students complete teaching evaluations for a period starting ten calendar days prior to the last day of class each semester.  The survey will be closed to student access after the last day of classes each term.

How will students know when to complete SET?

Email messages with instructions on how to complete SET will be sent to students in your classes beginning ten days prior to the last day of classes.  The messages will be automatically generated by CoursEval from rosters maintained in Banner.

Will the students complete a separate SET instrument for each class they are taking?

Yes.  CoursEval will send each student a link to a separate SET instrument for each class he/she is taking each term.  The student will click on the course name and number to gain access to the SET instrument for that class.

Why would my class not be included in SET?

There may be certain classes excluded from SET - for example independent study, thesis, or dissertations, internships, etc.  Classes with enrollment of two or fewer students will be excluded to protect student anonymity.

What are the advantages of conducting SET in class?

SET is now designed for students to complete online outside of class, however, students can complete SET in class with laptops, smart phones, or tablet computers using standard web browsers connected to the Internet.  You must provide students ample time to complete the evaluations at the beginning of a class period and you cannot be in the room as they complete SET.  SET must take place during the last ten calendar days prior to the last day of class.

Research shows that conducting SET in class usually yields a higher response rate.  It also allows you to control the environment in which students respond to the questions.  However, taking SET outside of class frees up class time to focus on course content.  It also gives students the opportunity to spend as much time as they need to complete the instrument.  Some research indicates that the students’ written responses are more detailed and more reflective when done outside of class.

If students take SET in class, are there any suggestions I need to follow?

If you do SET in class, you should allow sufficient time at the beginning of class for students to complete the instrument.  In addition, you are not permitted to be in the room when students respond.  You will need an impartial proctor such as a colleague, department staff, or trusted student to conduct SET.

If students complete the SET instrument outside of class, are there steps I can take to increase student response rates?

Yes.  A list of suggestions for improving student response rates to SET is located at Increasing Student Response Rates

Should I remind students to complete SET if they do it outside of class?

You can.  Doing so will improve the response rate for your class.  During the ten-day period students can complete SET, CoursEval will also send email reminders to students who have yet to complete the instrument.

Will I be able to monitor how many of my students have completed the SET instrument during this ten-day period?

Yes.  You will be able to see how many students have completed the instrument, but you will not be able to identify who they are.  Visit the SET website and login at go.udayton.edu/set 

Can I see partial results of SET during the ten-day period students have to complete it?

No.  You will be able to see how many students have completed the SET instrument but will not have access to the results during the ten-day period students have to complete the evaluation.

Are any incentives in place to encourage students to complete the SET instrument?

No.  As stipulated by the Senate, no incentives (positive or negative) will be used to encourage students to complete the SET instrument.  This policy is consistent with current practice.

If students start to complete the SET instrument but have to stop before finishing, can they return to it later without losing any responses already completed?

Yes.  The students simply needs to click "save progress and return" at the bottom of the survey.  Their responses will be there when they return to complete the survey.

Once students have completed the SET instrument, can they go back and change their responses?

Yes.  Students can access the SET instrument and change their responses at any point during the ten-day period for SET.  After the last day of classes, students cannot change any of their responses on the SET instrument.  Completed surveys are found by students under a link labeled "completed surveys".

What assistance will be available if I or my students encounter technical problems with the new SET instrument?

Students experiencing problems in completing the online SET can call the UDit Service Center at 937-229-3888 or send an email to itservicecenter@udayton.edu  Assistance for instructors is available through the Learning Teaching Center.  E-mail at set@udayton.edu.

Obtaining and Interpreting SET Result Reports

When and how will I receive SET results for my classes?

SET results (also known as “reports”) will be available to instructors 24 hours after final grades are officially posted.  Instructors will be notified by email that the reports are ready to be viewed from the CoursEval web site.  

What information will be included in the SET report I receive?

You will receive the numerical results of SET for each class you teach in addition to the department average for each question.  All of the responses to the open-ended questions in the classes you teach will be included as well.

Will I have access to my SET results online in order to download them?

Yes.  CoursEval makes this service available.  You can print the reports from your web browser or save the report locally on your computer.

Who will see my SET results?

Current practice will not change: you, your Chair, your Dean, and others authorized by department and unit bylaws (promotion and tenure committees, for example) will have access to your SET results.

Which results from SET will be considered for merit raises in my unit?

This decision rests with your Dean and/or your unit’s bylaws.

Where can I get assistance if I want to act on or need further help interpreting the SET results to improve my teaching?

Help will be available through the Learning Teaching Center.  Online, resources tied to each of the core eight prompts are available at Resources Tied to SET Prompts.  To make an appointment to connect with a SET faculty consultant concerning results, contact set@udayton.edu.

If I am team-teaching a course, will each of the instructors receive individual SET results for the course?

Yes.  CoursEval provides this service, but students need to be reminded to evaluate each teacher separately.

Questions Concerning the SET Instrument

Who developed the SET instrument?

In 2012, an ad hoc SET Committee was charged by the Academic Senate to examine current SET practices and to recommend changes in light of current best practice and research on effective teaching strategies.  In 2013, the SET Committee’s report and recommendations were delivered to the Senate and several Senate subcommittees began work to establish an implementation plan. In 2014, the Senate voted to accept the new SET policy and implementation plan.

Was the SET instrument pilot tested?

Yes.  Between Summer, 2012 and Summer, 2013, the SET instrument was piloted four times in courses taught by UD instructors.  During the pilot period, instructors, chairs, and students were asked to comment on and evaluate both the instrument and the experience of completing it online.

Was the SET instrument reviewed by outside experts?

Yes.  Two outside experts reviewed various drafts of the SET proposal.  Both endorsed the recommendations offered by the SET Committee and offered constructive criticism to improve the wording of SET items or streamline the SET process.

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