Teaching Policies & Resources — Student Evaluation of Teaching

Please note: During the 2020-21 academic year, these policies will move to the CLAS Policies and Procedures website. At that time, this page will be discontinued.

CLAS ACE Online Policies

All courses with their administrative home in CLAS now use the ACE online forms.

  • Evaluation forms are required for any regularly scheduled course; for more information, see the end of this page.
  • CLAS requires the use of the CLAS Core, a set of three questions that apply to any course; these questions are added to the online forms centrally by Exam and Evaluation Service (EES) and are required for all CLAS courses needing evaluations.
  • Courses with GE status also include the GE Core, three questions related to student learning and tailored to the specific GE outcomes of the related course (i.e. the Social Sciences GE area has different questions than the GE Rhetoric area). These questions are automatically added to each course with GE status. Courses without GE status will not use these questions. These questions are used to assess the GE area outcomes and not individual instructors or their classes.
  • CLAS no longer allows custom forms to be created for individual instructors; instead, instructors have the ability to customize their own forms by adding questions. These questions are not available for anyone else to view and the results are not collected.

ACE Online Procedures

  • ACE online forms for regularly scheduled courses will be available for students two weeks before the final examination week begins and will close at 11:59 p.m. on the Saturday before the start of the final exam week.
  • For other relevant dates see this page, including those for off-cycle courses.
  • For all regularly scheduled courses, students will receive an email informing them that the evaluations have been opened.
  • For regularly scheduled courses, forms are generally ready to be viewed by the instructor online by the fourth week of the semester. This time varies for off-cycle courses depending on the course’s start and end dates. 
  • It is not possible for a mass email to be sent to students in off-cycle courses, such as a First-Year Seminar. Instructors teaching off-cycle courses should remind their students to complete the forms at the end of the course period.  For relevant dates since this page.
  • All CLAS students and instructors may access the forms through ICON (login, click on the Student tab at the top of the page, choose "Course Evaluations," and then login to CollegeNet). Instructors do not need to have a course on ICON to use ICON to access the evaluation forms. ICON simply provides a login portal to the evaluation site and is available in this capacity whether or not the instructor uses ICON.
  • After logging in through ICON, students and instructors will see the evaluation dashboard. Students will find their evaluations for all of their UI courses using the online system listed on this one page.
  • Instructors wanting to add their own questions to a course evaluation form may do so at the evaluation dashboard but must add the questions before the forms open for students' use. Once opened for students, the evaluations forms cannot be changed.
  • Each instructor is able to access their course evaluation results around three days after grades are posted. At the same time that instructors can view the results of the evaluations, DEOs and key departmental administrators (or a delegate) may also review evaluation results.
  • All results from course evaluations are accessible to the instructor as long as the instructor has a valid HawkID and password, providing easy access to these materials online. Evaluation results should also be downloaded and saved by the instructor or by the department. (See below for more information on the use and keeping of online evaluation forms.)

Best Practices for Student Evaluation of Teaching

Procedures for evaluation must ensure that student evaluations are anonymous and uninfluenced by the instructor.

Institutions using online forms have found that asking students to complete them during class works well. Instructors may want to follow the same procedures as used previously for paper forms:

  • Schedule a time for students to complete the evaluation in class during the last two weeks of the course and before the final exam week.
  • Remind students to bring their smart phone, laptop, or tablet to class; if the classroom has a computer, make it available for students to use.
  • Tell or show students how to access ICON and the Student tab which links to the course evaluations.
  • Allow enough time for the evaluation. Some instructors like set aside time in the middle of the class for this activity so students do not rush through the evaluations in order to leave early.
  • Inform students that the process is important to the instructor for improving the course and that recommendations are taken seriously.
  • Remind students that the instructor does not have access to the evaluations until after grades have been submitted and that all forms are completely anonymous.
  • Instructors may email students without the students' identity being revealed to remind them to complete the evaluations. Instructors may also view at the site how many forms have been completed and the percentage not yet done.
  • Instructors should continue to encourage students to complete the forms until the forms close on midnight before the start of exam week.

Optional Mid-term Evaluations

Some instructors find it beneficial to have a mid-term or earlier evaluation for their own use. Instructors may devise their own evaluation instruments using the online ACE form. Instructors who choose to do such evaluations should assure students that these evaluations are optional and are anonymous. These evaluations are for the instructor's use only and do not need to be kept or shared with others. All instructors will be able to access their data and run reports on findings from the student evaluations using the ACE online tool.

Viewing and Keeping Student Evaluations on File

Course evaluations may be accessed by the instructor immediately after grades are posted; at the same time, the evaluations are made available electronically to the departmental  DEO and to the departmental administrator.

Evaluations may be downloaded and saved as PDF or MS Excel files which also can be emailed or printed. Instructors should save all evaluations in a personal file. As long as an instructor has a valid HawkID and password, the instructor will have access to her or his individual reports. These evaluations are stored indefinitely online and must be included by instructors in all reviews of teaching assistants and of tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty, according to CLAS policy (see below).

In reviews for tenure and/or promotion to associate professor, the faculty member must include (as an appendix to the promotion dossier) the student evaluations for each course taught since he or she joined the UI tenure-track faculty. The CLAS Core questions should be included in this material.

In reviews for promotion to full professor, faculty must include as an appendix to the promotion dossier the student evaluations for each course taught since the tenure review (or for the previous seven years if the interval since the tenure review has been longer than seven years). The CLAS Core questions should be included in this material.

In peer reviews of tenured faculty, the review committee must examine student evaluations of teaching for all courses taught since the previous tenured faculty review or promotion review (ordinarily a five-year period). The CLAS Core questions should be included in this material.

For teaching assistants, all student evaluations of teaching must be kept on file from the initial appointment until the time the individual leaves the University.

For lecturers, visiting faculty, and adjunct faculty, the evaluations must be kept on file for five years.

For clinical-track faculty review, evaluations since the previous review for reappointment or promotion must be kept on file.

Additional Information

Additional information, along with videos about the use of ACE online, can be found at the links below.

Best Practices

Frequently Asked Questions

Instructor Resources

Student Resources