New Faculty Center

Toward the end of every course or module, students will receive a survey asking them to evaluate their educational experience.  These surveys, which are referred to simply as "Course Evaluations" by the Office of Academic Technology, are critical to the success of the University. 

Most of the results from these surveys provide administrators with valuable insight during faculty reviews (P&T, Teaching Awards, etc.), and a portion of these results, namely the Likert ratings, are made available to students to help them select their instructors during their registration.

Note:  Many departments also evaluate courses and instructors via class visits, syllabus assessments, curricula review, or other surveys conducted via Qualtrics.  These are conducted independently, and The Office of Academic Technology is not involved in these processes in any way.  Our surveys are conducted every semester at UT Austin in accordance with State Law (HB 2504) and UT System Rules (Rule 30501) for every instructor and course with very few exceptions.

Customizing Your Evaluation(s)

To ensure that results are consistent across Colleges, School, and Units, most aspects of your course evaluation(s) will be standardized; however, all instructors are provided with the freedom to customize their surveys in the following ways:

  • Question Personalization. Instructors may choose to add up to three (3) optional questions, from our pre-determined question bank, to each of their evaluations for any/all of their courses.  This process is completely optional and the responses students provide to these specific questions will only be viewable by you (however, you may choose to include them as a supplemental document when applying for Promotion, Tenure, Awards, etc.). See our How To Video to learn more.
    • Note: Some questions may not be available because your course does not meet specific criteria (For example, "Online Course Questions" are only available for online/hybrid courses), or because it has already been selected by your college or school to be a mandatory question for all of their surveys.
  • Timing & Extensions. In most cases, particularly those where your course does not follow the academic calendar's standard 15-week timeline, you may ask your CEL to adjust your survey Fill Out Window at any point before your survey is published during the Data Cleanup Period.  Additionally, during your Fill Out Window, if you're concerned about a low response rate for your evaluation(s), your CEL may submit an emergency request to have a survey reopened or extended (Note:  All surveys must close before grades are distributed to students).  

Special Cases

Additional options to customize your evaluations exist for the following types of courses:

  • Team-Taught Courses.  By default, if a course has multiple instructors assigned, all instructors will be listed together on a single evaluation form with all "course questions" shown once at the beginning, followed by a separate section of "instructor questions" repeated for each instructor (instructors will only be able to see how students responded to their instructor questions at the end of the term).  However, CELs have the option to "split" evaluations, and are encouraged to do this for any "modular" courses (where, for example, one instructor teaches the first half, and another teaches the second). Contact your CEL to learn more.
  • Cross-Listed/Multi-Section Courses.  By default, if you are teaching a course that is cross-listed between two departments, or is comprised of several different sections with different student populations in each (A "Multi-Section" course), your evaluation will be "merged" so that all responses appear on a single report at the end of the term.  However, CELs have the option not to merge these records, allowing you to see a more granular breakdown of responses, so long as each cross-listing or section has at least 5 students enrolled.  Contact your CEL to learn more.


Automated Emails

The Course Evaluation System will send the following emails to your students, by default on the following schedule:

  • Invitation Email. On the day your course evaluation opens, students will receive an email with detailed instructions explaining the purpose of these surveys and how to complete them.  If they have multiple surveys open on the same day, they will only receive one email.
  • Reminder Emails.  If a student hasn't completed their evaluations after 50% of their available time has passed, they will receive another reminder email (this time with more details on resolving technical issues).  Then again after 75% of their time has passed, and one final reminder on the last day that their evaluation is open.  

We generally discourage faculty members from sending too many additional emails to students about their evaluations, as the return on these efforts diminishes quickly.  Instead, we usually encourage conducting an in-class evaluation session as the primary strategy.  


Canvas Reminders

The Course Evaluation System will set up and send the following communications to your students via Canvas.  All of these, with the exception of the Canvas Banner Ads, will begin on the day that your evaluations become available, and require no action on your part. 

  • Announcement.  A regular Canvas announcement will be generated guiding students to their dashboard.  At this time, the "Course Evaluations" tab on Canvas will populate as well (we highly discourage you from disabling this tab)
  • Pop-Up Notification.  Every time a student enters your Canvas page, until either their deadline has passed, they've completed your evaluations, or they have selected the "stop reminding me" button, a "pop-up" notification will appear informing them that they have incomplete evaluations.
  • Calendar/To-Do Item.  A new item on their "To-Do List," will appear, showing the deadline to complete their evaluation.  This will also appear anytime they look at your calendar for the course.
  • Canvas Banner Ad.  Within the last three days of the Fill Out Window for your evaluation, a banner ad will appear on your students' dashboards letting them know that time is running out.  On the last day of their evaluation, the title of this message will change to "Only One Day Left!"

Once again, we generally discourage faculty members from posting too many additional Canvas announcements.  We do, however, encourage faculty members who wish to offer extra credit to students who complete their evaluations, to create a Canvas assignment for doing so, as this has been shown to be a highly effective strategy. However, please note that setting up an extra credit assignment in Canvas can be tricky, so it’s always best to reach out the Canvas team for help. 


Course Evaluation Liaisons

At least one staff member from each academic department is given administrative access to our Course Evaluation System and will be responsible for creating your course evaluations.  These Course Evaluation Liaisons, or "CELs" are your most valuable resource.

You should contact your CEL with any questions you may have, except for those involving technical or software issues you encounter while using our system or any dependent systems (Canvas, Duo, etc.). For those, please contact the UT Service Desk by email (, phone (512-475-9400), or by opening a ticket directly.