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Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research

Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research

116 College Avenue
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
http://ctaar.rutgers.edu/
Phone: (848) 932-7466
Fax: (732) 932-1845
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SIRS Procedures

Dates

  • Prior to semester start (ongoing): Departments enter the “Instructor of Record,” including TAs and co-lecturers, into the Course Scheduling System. All information entered into CSS will form the basis for both the online and paper surveys. Please refer to the Scheduling department for your campus for CSS availability dates and procedures.
  • September 2019: For both paper and online surveys — CTAAR sends list of course surveys (based on CSS) to departments for review and corrections. For online surveys the Excel sheets are only for reference - administrators must verify course and instructor information online in Blue (using the “SIRS Preparation” task)
  • Please note - for surveys that should run earlier in the semester (e.g., 7-week courses) please contact us at least two weeks before the survey should begin to request an online survey or a paper survey packet.
Online Surveys (Blue) Paper Surveys
  • September 23, 2019: Department administrators may access Blue/DIG to make any changes to the surveys that previously would have been entered into the spreadsheet (for example, alternate survey dates, alternate questions, or additional instructors who were not included in CSS). In many cases, departments may not need to make any changes, but should still review the surveys in Blue to be sure everything is in order, and “publish” their surveys (to confirm the survey details). Information and instructions for admins using Blue to verify course information are available here.
  • For departments using Midcourse Surveys (optional)
    • October 8, 2019: Deadline to check course and instructor information and publish in Blue (“Data Preparation” task), only for courses for which midcourse surveys are desired.
    • October 9 - 13: Faculty can add questions to the midcourse surveys (as applicable)
    • October 14 - 20: midcourse surveys will run for those courses indicated and published from DIG
    • October 21: Results for midcourse surveys will be distributed directly to faculty and department admininstrators
  • November 8, 2019: Deadline for departments check course and instructor information, and publish surveys (in Blue, “SIRS Preparation” task). For courses that end early in the semester, departments must publish the survey in Blue at least two weeks prior to the the end of the course.
  • November 20 - December 2: (may vary, approximately 12 days before survey starts) CTAAR informs faculty and instructors of their individual survey details. Faculty may optionally add questions to SIRS or adjust their own survey dates.
  • December 2: Surveys begin (unless otherwise indicated)
  • December 2 through end of survey: Students who have not responded will receive email reminders (exact dates vary)
  • December 16 : Surveys end (unless otherwise indicated). Note that this is the first day of exams, if you want your survey to end earlier please adjust the dates in Blue.
  • January 2, 2020 - approximate last day to submit grades to the registrar (refer to the registrar’s schedule for exact dates)
  • January 3, 2020: SIRS results distributed through Blue to most faculty, instructors, and department administrators.
    • January 10, 2020: RBS School 22 SIRS results available (delay to accommodate varied course schedule).
    • February 3, 2020: Law, Schools 23 and 24 SIRS results available (delay to accommodate varied course schedule).
  • September 23, 2019: Team-taught courses and special processing: CTAAR must be informed by this date if your department has team-taught courses, or any special processing needs. Requests for paper surveys received after this date cannot be accommodated.
  • November 11: Date by which all survey forms will be delivered to departmental offices for distribution to the faculty.
  • November 25 - December 11: Time period during which we suggest surveys should be conducted. Faculty may prefer earlier or later dates, based on the individual class syllabus.
  • December 31: Last date CTAAR will accept surveys for scanning and processing. This date is more than 5 business days beyond the last day of classes, so that even instructors who conduct the survey during their final exam should be able to make the deadline.
  • June 2020: Target date for the return of processed survey forms and summary statistics to the department offices. All survey packets, with forms and summary statistics, will be returned in a bundle addressed to the department Chair, for distribution to the faculty. In addition, a copy of the complete collection of summary statistics sheets for the department will be available for the Chair on the CTAAR web site.

General Information

Lecture and recitation or lab courses: The Student Instructional Rating Form is designed so that one survey will be used for each instructor. Therefore, the lecturer in a lecture class with recitation periods should have a survey in the lecture hall, and separate survey packets will be prepared for each recitation section, so that the recitation instructors can distribute surveys to the students in each of their own sections. 

If one instructor teaches both the lecture and the lab or recitation meetings and would like to collect feedback from the students in each meeting separately, a manual change must be made to “split” the surveys to explicitly target the respective meetings. Please contact CTAAR for assistance.

CTAAR will set up online surveys or distribute survey packets in this fashion unless the department requests a different procedure. Please let us know by the deadline if you would like to follow a different procedure in your department. 

Team-taught courses: If a course is taught by a team of faculty members, we will include each member of the team in the survey. Please notify CTAAR if you if you want to run the surveys as each lecturer completes their component of the course (staggered dates).

Note that there is an organizational change in how Blue works for courses with multiple instructors. One survey will be created for the course. Blue will repeat most questions once for each instructor, while certain “course-wide” questions will only be asked once (shared by all intstructors). On paper (and previously in Sakai online surveys), each instructor has their own distinct survey.

Crosslisted courses may have a single, combined survey or separate surveys for each section, depending on the preference of the instructor. If the instructor does not inform us of his or her preference, we will generally combine sections according to the following guidelines:
- Undergraduate sections will be combined with other crosslisted undergraduate sections
- Graduate sections will be combined with other crosslisted graduate sections
- Undergraduate and graduate sections will generally remain separate, unless enrollment in one of the crosslisted sections is less than 6 students.

Summary data: CTAAR will calculate department and level averages for paper and online surveys separately, to allow for possible differences introduced by the survey format.

Follow-up procedures: When we receive all of the completed student rating forms for a department, we compile and return the results to the department after the university grading period closes. We do not interpret the student responses. Any instructors who feel that their survey has scanner or student errors should communicate this to his or her department chair. The department chair should inform us of any surveys that should be re-scanned or re-processed

Online Surveys Paper Surveys

Email Notifications: CTAAR will send each instructor an email notification approximately one or two weeks before the start of their survey. If you would like to alter the survey dates or add questions, use the link in the email to edit your survey in Blue.

Status Updates: Instructors may log in to Blue to monitor the progress of their survey on the Response Rate Dashboard.

Completing online surveys during class time: Students may complete the survey using their mobile phone or any computing device. We recommend giving out the link during a mid-class break; this can bring response rates up to the same levels as a paper survey (which would by necessity be distributed in class). For convenience, instructors may project a QR Code for Blue in the classroom, students can use the camera in their phones to quickly scan the code instead of typing the survey link.

General Instructions for Completing the Student Instructional Rating Forms: Students can go to https://sirs.ctaar.rutgers.edu/blue to complete all their course surveys. Please remind your students that:

  • The name of the instructor appears on each question of the survey. Students should double-check to make sure they are responding to the correct instructor before completing the survey.
  • Response fields for each question read from left to right, with the lowest scored response to the far left and the highest scored response to the far right - these are clearly labeled (see the sample online SIRS form). Students should make sure they mark the response they intend.
  • In cases where we mistakenly put the name of the wrong instructor on a course survey, students can notify us by email through a link on the survey itself. We will correct the name on the form as soon as possible, and send all responses to the correct instructor.
  • More Information:

Header sheets: Instructors need only print their name, net id, school code, program or department code, course number and section number in the boxes provided and the title of the course where designated. The cooperation of the instructors in this task is much appreciated. 

General Instructions for Completing the Student Instructional Rating Forms: It is essential that the students mark the student rating forms so that the scanner can read them. Before the survey begins, please remind your students that: 

  • There are three parts to the form, parts A, B and C. 
    • Part A consists of 10 questions that you should answer by filling-in the appropriate response bubble for each question. 
    • Part B consists of blank spaces for questions provided by the instructor or the department offering the course. If there are no questions given for this section, then students should leave the response bubbles for Part B blank. 
    • Part C, on the back of the form, is the Comments section. Students should write their comments directly on the form. 
  • Students should fill-in the response bubbles completely; check marks, x's and circled responses will not be read by the scanner. Any incomplete erasures or double-responses will not be read accurately by the scanner. Students should use a dark pencil, a black pen, or a dark blue pen. Red ink or red pencil cannot be used. 
  • The response fields for each question read from left to right, with the lowest scored response to the far left and the highest scored response to the far right, numbered 1 through 5 (see the sample paper SIRS form). Therefore, a score of "1" indicates disagreement or "poor", and a score of "5" indicates agreement or "excellent". Students should make sure they mark the response they intend.
  • More Information:

 

 

 

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