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Student Feedback Survey (SFS)

For Faculty

As the official “faculty of record” for a given lecture, lab, seminar, or practicum section with an enrollment of five or more students after the last drop date, you are asked to contribute to the success of the SFS process by informing / reminding students of the online survey and encouraging them to participate in the process.

 SFS: An Overview for Spring 2019

Regular Classes
Accelerated Online Classes

*Surveys for all Accelerated Online courses will end two days before the official course end date of each course.

The surveys for regular 15-week classes in the fall that end on the official last day of classes will be available on Thursday, April 18, 2019 for each lecture, lab, seminar, and practicum course having 5 or more students enrolled.  Access to the survey will end at 11 PM on the last official day of the semester, Friday, May 3, 2019.  No surveys will be re-issued after they close.

For regular classes that last less than 15 weeks, the survey period is one week long.  Email invitations to participate in the SFS process are issued one week before each class’ official end date and close at 11:00 PM on the evening of the official end date.

For Accelerated Online classes that last less than 15 weeks, the survey period is also one week long, and the survey will close at 11:00 PM two days before the official class end date.

If you are teaching this fall, one day before your class survey opens, you will receive an e-mail notification from UT Arlington Course Evaluations with the message subject: Your Course Evaluation Has Been Deployed.

Instructors will also receive periodic response rate notifications throughout the survey period. Furthermore, a report notification will also be sent to the instructor when reports are ready for viewing and download. This will be after all grades are officially posted by the Registrar.

Each student enrolled in your course(s) will be issued an e-mail message inviting him/her to complete an online Student Feedback Survey for the class before each official class end date.

These e-mail messages will be sent to the student’s official UTA e-mail account (“”) from UT Arlington Course Evaluations. The message subject will read Please evaluate your University of Texas at Arlington Courses.

The invitation will direct students to the SFS login page. Instructions on the page will prompt them to log-in with their NetID and password to verify their identity. The responses are anonymous to the extent permitted by applicable law and University regulations.

Students who have not responded to the initial invitation will receive a reminder daily. Access to the survey will end at 11 PM on the last official day of the class. No surveys will be re-issued after this date. Links to all SFS surveys can also be found on your student's Blackboard page,, during the survey period.

Beginning in spring 2019, the SFS will be administered using the SmartEval system.  For a guide on using this system, please click here.

Four Simple Ways to Improve Response Rates

1. Emphasize the privacy of responses

Several studies on course evaluations have noted that a student’s privacy concerns are often the largest barrier to providing feedback. Therefore, it’s important to notify students that instructors cannot determine the identity of a student unless they self-identify in the comments. Additionally, instructors should emphasize that they cannot view the anonymous results until grades have been finalized.

2. Explain the importance of course evaluations

Students are often unaware of how their feedback is actually used. If students feel that their results are utilized to make improvements, they are more likely to provide their opinions. An effective way for instructors to illustrate this is to provide examples of how past feedback has been used to improve courses. Showing examples of incorporating feedback also encourages students to include more details in their comments.

3. Remind students to complete evaluations

Although reminder notices are automatically sent by SmartEvals (UTA’s course evaluation software), a personal reminder from an instructor is often more effective in encouraging participation. Feel free to remind students either in-class or via email/Blackboard about evaluations.

4. Allow in-class time for the completion of evaluations

If applicable, dedicating 5-10 minutes at the start of class time to completing student evaluations is a quick and simple way to boost response rates. As instructions are sent to student email accounts, your students can complete evaluations via cellphone, tablet, or laptop without much assistance. Simply tell your students to check their email or Blackboard page for links to take the survey. We recommend that you leave the room during this time, in order to help assure confidentiality.

Some institutions have noticed better results when the in-class time is specifically mentioned on the syllabus; this establishes that evaluations are part of the course and not a separate measure.

Below you will find some anticipated questions about the Student Feedback Survey. If your question is not addressed, please let me know; I will do my best to respond to your query and, as appropriate, will update this document. -Andy Pagel

Q: The course I'm teaching is not a standard 15-week offering. When will my students be able to complete the SFS?
A: For regular courses offered outside the standard 15-week schedule, invitations to the SFS will be issued approximately one week prior to the course's end-date and will end at 11:00 PM on the course end date (as specified in MyMav).

For Accelerated Online the survey period is also one week long, and the survey will close at 11:00 PM two days before the official class end date.

Q: How will students know that they’re supposed to complete a Student Feedback Survey online?
A: Every student enrolled in a lecture, lab, seminar , or practicum with enrollment of 5 or more after the last drop date will receive an e-mail message informing him/her about the survey, including a hyperlink to the survey. SFS links also appear on students' Blackboard page during the survey period.

Q: Is there a central website where my students access all of their Student Feedback Surveys at once?
A: Yes! They may see all of their outstanding surveys on their Blackboard page during the survey period.

Q: If a student is taking more than one course this term, will that student receive multiple e-mail messages about completing a survey for each course?
A: No. Students will receive only one e-mail invitation for all lecture, lab, seminar, or practicum courses with enrollment of 5 or more in which they are enrolled. The message contains the survey website and the instruction on how to access the survey. A survey reminder will also be sent daily. All survey e-mail notifications are sent to UTA addresses only.

Q: What if my students don’t check their official MavMail accounts?
A: The students can also access the surveys via Blackboard.

Q: Should I offer incentives such as extra credit for completing course evaluations?
A: Although offering extra credit could boost your response rates, it also has the unwanted effect of biasing results (particularly if others in your department/area do not offer extra credit). As giving students reminders and class time to complete evaluations are proven methods of increasing responses, we ask instructors to focus on these methods (for more information on improving response rates, see Four Simple Ways to Improve Response Rates).

Q: Will I be provided with information about the response rate for my course before the survey period ends?
A: Yes, you should receive an automated message informing you of the current response rate for your course(s) periodically during the survey period. If the interim response rate is low, you're encouraged to speak with your students about the importance of the SFS process and to set aside class time to allow them to participate in the survey.

Q: Am I required to discuss the SFS with students?
A: No. It should be noted, however, that by talking to your students about the importance of their feedback -- and by allowing them time in class to complete the survey -- may improve your overall response rate.

Q: I am team-teaching a course. Will student fill out separate surveys for both/all instructors?
A: Yes, provided that your department’s administrative contact provided the SFS Team with this information per established administrative deadlines. Speak with your unit’s AA to find out who’s been assigned responsibility for the SFS in your unit to confirm.

Q: If one of my students misses the deadline for completing the survey, can a new survey be issued?
A: No. All surveys must be completed during the time frame specified in the invitation e-mail.

Q: As the instructor, will I be able to connect a student’s survey responses with his/her identity, e.g., by referencing a Net ID or e-mail address?
A: No. Each student’s responses are anonymous. Their responses are not stored with their identifying information.

Q: When will I receive my survey results?
A: Each instructors should expect to receive a notification email that provides the link to the results approximately two weeks after the survey period ends and final grades have been posted to MyMav.

Q: I didn't receive a result notification email after grades are officially posted on MyMav. What do I do?
A: Contact Dr. Andy Pagel at Please be sure to provide detailed information of the course such as the term, course name and number, section number and course end date.

Q: I didn't receive a summary report for one of my classes. What do I do?
A: Faculty members should file a "missing report" claim by sending us an email - CLICK HERE.