ACE Teaching Evaluations: Important Information

To: Departmental Executive Officers
From: Cornelia Lang, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Christine Getz, Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Outreach and Engagement
RE: ACE Teaching Evaluations: Important Information

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Teaching evaluations for regular, semester-length courses taught in fall 2021 will open on Sunday, November 28, at 12:00 a.m. There will be an announcement forthcoming.

We encourage all instructors to promote the value of using the ACE teaching evaluation process to their students. Please stress that evaluations help students taking the course in the future while giving students an important voice in their own education. Instructors (and, in turn, departments) use this feedback to help improve the course the next time it is taught. 

Below are some suggestions for increasing student participation in the ACE evaluation process:

  • Allow time for students to fill out the evaluation during class.
    • Designate a particular day and ask students to bring any mobile device they are comfortable using (Iowa's system allows use of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc.).
    • No more than 10 minutes is usually needed for students to answer the end of course ACE questions.
  • Remind students that online evaluations are completely anonymous. Iowa's software allows students to login with their Hawkid, but once logged in, students immediately become anonymous in the system.
  • Remind students that you will not see any results until after final grades have been submitted.
  • Both the Response Rate and number of students who have completed the evaluation are updated during the open evaluation period.  This is a way for you to track the response rate in your courses and send your students a reminder if your response rates are low.
  • The following video made by students for students also gives compelling reasons for completing the ACE evaluations, so please share with your students.

Other videos for DEOs, faculty, and administrators on topics such as the role of teaching evaluations and implicit bias can be found here.

As you might be aware, the University ACE Task Force revised the end of semester student questions (starting date of fall 2020) and has made a series of recommendations about the process of teaching evaluation on our campus. CLAS will be working on implementation of these recommendations over the next few years.