Carnegie Mellon University

Faculty Course Evaluations FAQs

Student feedback is a valuable resource for instructors. Instructors use this feedback to make improvements to their teaching practice so that they can create better learning environments for students. The Faculty Course Evaluation is your opportunity to influence teaching and learning at Carnegie Mellon. Feedback is also reviewed by Deans and Department Heads and contribute to decisions concerning faculty promotions.

The university has contracted with an independent company (Gap Technologies) to survey students' course experiences. Gap Technologies was chosen by Enrollment Management and Computing Services as our partner in this process. They and their software application, SmartEvals, have met specific privacy and security standards in compliance with the Carnegie Mellon Information Security Office and with Computing Services. As in the past, Enrollment Management will be administering the survey, creating and sending the initial and reminder emails, as well as monitoring the assessment process.

In this partnership, we will only be sharing your Andrew user ID, first name and your course(s) with Gap Technologies.

All of the survey data you provide is the property of Carnegie Mellon. It will only be accessible to authenticated users. In addition, Gap Technologies agrees not to re-disclose such information without the express written consent of Carnegie Mellon. Gap Technologies will not use any information provided directly or indirectly by Carnegie Mellon or users for any use other than administering the survey for our use. Gap Technologies and their software application, SmartEvals, have met specific privacy and security standards in compliance with the Carnegie Mellon Information Security Office and with Computing Services.

YES!  An overwhelming majority of instructors read and seriously take your feedback to heart. Your feedback can lead faculty to revise teaching methods, change textbooks, revise assignments and make other changes to help you learn. Department Heads and Deans also review the feedback and use this information as one measure of teaching that contributes to decisions concerning faculty promotions. As a reminder, although data collected form your evaluation does not contain personally-identifying information, your written comments should not contain clues to your identity where possible. 

The system uses your Andrew ID to identify the courses you are enrolled in and to ensure that you have the opportunity to assess your courses. No personally-identifying information appears anywhere on the final FCE data.

The university takes your privacy very seriously, and all reasonable precautions to protect it are being taken. View the complete privacy statement.

Your feedback will have no impact on your grade whatsoever. Instructors cannot view any of the results until after final grades are submitted and they cannot associate your responses with you. Completing the evaluations are voluntary, but they are your one opportunity to have a voice and an impact on the quality of education at Carnegie Mellon. Just like you, instructors can't learn and improve unless they get feedback about how they are teaching.

We have found that, on average, students take about 1 - 2 minutes to complete the form. Your time may be less or more, depending on how many comments you make and the length of your comments.

After you submit your feedback, your responses, without any personal identifiers, will become part of the database for your course. After final grades are submitted, your instructor will be able to look at the aggregate data for each question, the comments, and the responses on individual forms (without any identifiers).

YES! Soon after final grades are submitted by all locations, login to SIO under Course Schedule to view the ratings for your course and instructor as well as all other courses and instructors. For this information to be useful to you as a student, it is important that a high percentage of students fill out the evaluations.

There are various reasons why your course may not be showing up to be evaluated (e.g., less than two students are enrolled or your instructor elected not to participate). Please check with your instructor if you are unsure whether your course is being evaluated.

If your course IS being evaluated but it is not showing up, there could be a problem with your enrollment and you should contact us immediately.