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Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research

SIRS — The Student Instructional Ratings Survey

The Student Instructional Rating Survey (SIRS) is a University-wide survey of students for their comments about their experiences in the classroom. The results are used by the individual instructors, departments, schools and the University for the assessment and improvement of teaching. Faculty members are asked to provide summaries of the student survey statistics for personnel decisions such as tenure, promotion or merit-based pay. All members of the University have access to the summary statistics from the student surveys at Results prior to 2001 that are not available online are archived at the Rutgers University Libraries.

General Information

SIRS Results

Transition to Online SIRS in Blue

Most courses currently use the online survey format that used a survey component of Sakai since 2008. Beginning in Fall 2018, CTAAR will transition from Sakai to a new survey tool, “eXplorance Blue”. This change should be mostly transparent to students and faculty, who will see many improvements but will continue to use the surveys in the same way.

The paper system continues to be available in Fall and Spring semesters only, with some significant changes:

  1. Any department using paper forms for Fall should not expect their results until Summer. We will process the Fall and Spring paper forms at the same time, and distribute those results in summer. Survey results for online surveys will be distributed three weekdays after the last day of exams.
  2. We ask all departments, whether using the online system or the paper system, to fill in instructor information in an Excel template and return it to us by the 7th week of the semester. We will email you the template at the start of the semester.
  3. If you wish to begin using the online survey, the department chair should please notify us of the decision in writing (email or paper), and refer to our procedures for the online SIRS system.



Note: CTAAR generally tries to avoid calling the this process "teaching evaluations". The evaluation of an instructor's performance is an ongoing process that should include peer review, construction of a teaching portfolio, and an assessment of student learning outcomes in addition to student ratings. "Rating survey" is a more accurate term for this one facet of the teaching evaluation process.


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