Policy Manual

Student Opinion Surveys--On-Line Process

Policy Statement:

Student opinion surveys shall be used as part of the evaluation of teaching effectiveness for faculty members.


Student opinion survey:  A written or online form designed to collect feedback from students regarding teaching effectiveness.

Class: A section of a course containing a group of students who have registered for that section.

Instructor:  The faculty member responsible for conducting the day-to-day instructional activities for a class and the assignment of grades to the students taking the class.

Keywords: student opinion survey; evaluation of teaching

Reason for the Policy:

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents Policy Manual ( requires that each institution, as part of its evaluative procedures, will utilize a written system of faculty evaluations by students, with the improvement of teaching effectiveness as the main focus of these student evaluations.

Each USG institution shall establish clearly stated promotion criteria (BOR Policy 8.3.6) and procedures that emphasize excellence in teaching for all teaching faculty. Similarly, the minimum criteria for tenure include superior teaching, which requires demonstration of excellence in instruction (BOR Policy 8.3.7).

Therefore, the major purposes of the evaluation of teaching are to determine the level of teaching performance in order to improve teaching effectiveness, to assess progress toward promotion and tenure, and to inform annual faculty evaluations.

Proposed Outcome:

The application of this policy should ensure a coordinated university-wide approach to the use of student opinion surveys as a means of evaluating teaching effectiveness.

Applicability of the Policy:

The teaching performance of all instructors, regardless of their academic ranks or tenure status, is subject to evaluation. This policy applies to all instructors.

Related Policies:

Board of Regents Policy Manual

8.3.5 Evaluation of Personnel

8.3.6 Criteria for Promotion

8.3.7 Criteria for Tenure


As of Fall 2011, Georgia College has been using an online student opinion survey.

In Spring 2013 the Student Ratings of Instructional Survey (SRIS) published by the Individual Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA) organization (see http://ideaedu.org) was selected as the online instrument.


  1. Each full-time instructor shall be surveyed on a minimum of two classes per semester unless the instructor teaches only one class in that semester. The instructor shall select one class and one class shall be selected by the department chair/director. The department chair/director may elect to have more classes surveyed for a specific instructor. Similarly the instructor may elect to have more classes surveyed. The classes are to be chosen with consultation between the instructor and the department chairperson/director. If an instructor teaches in more than one department, the department chair/director of each department in which the instructor teaches and the instructor shall meet to discuss the selection of the classes to be surveyed. The selection of a class by an instructor or a department chair/director may be appealed to the college dean. Part-time instructors shall have all classes they are teaching evaluated without exception.
  2. Exceptions to the policy of two classes each semester, which is caused by unusual instructional situations (such as tutorial instruction, etc.), must be approved by the department chair/director and college dean, and an alternative must be specified and approved by the department chair/director and college dean.
  3. An undergraduate class with fewer than ten (10) or a graduate class with fewer than five (5) students enrolled at the time the instrument is to be administered shall not be surveyed unless specifically requested by the instructor or department chair/director.
  4. The student opinion survey shall be administered in a given semester during the last three (3) weeks of a semester and conclude at midnight prior to the first day of exam week. Exceptions to this rule can be made with the approval of the college dean.
  5. See the Center for Faculty Development for directions accessing SRIS online to complete one of the following tasks:
    1. Department Chair/Director, and/or administrative assistant/ department secretary to mark classes to be surveyed
    2. Instructors to complete the Faculty Information Form (FIF)
    3. Student to complete student opinion survey
    4. Instructor/Student/Department Chair/Director to access student opinion survey results.
  6. The instructor shall not be present in the room when students are completing the student opinion survey.
  7. The student opinion survey responses shall be anonymous.
  8. All student opinion survey data used in personnel decisions shall be accompanied by response rates for the data.
  9. Each department shall maintain an appropriate record of the instructor’s teaching performance.
  10. Instructors shall be permitted, but are not required, to respond to student opinion survey results by adding written comments to their annual review documentation that are communicated to individuals responsible for personnel decisions.

A. Department Chair, Director, and/or administrative assistant/ department secretary to mark classes to be surveyed

Once the department chair/director and instructor have determined classes that will participate in the administration of SRIS, the department chair/director, or administrative assistant/ department secretary will access Banner and mark the classes as follows:

  • Enter bannerprod.gcsu.edu into your browser.
  • Enter your Username and Password
  • Once you successfully login to Banner, type the form SSAEVAL into Go To… box and press Enter.
  • Select your term and CRN and click Next Block or press Ctrl + PgDn.
  • If this is a multiple instructor class use the arrow keys to select the correct instructor to be surveyed for this class and click Next Block or press Ctrl + PgDn. Note: If multiple instructors are to be surveyed for one CRN, make sure to update each instructors record.
  • Enter “1” in the first field of the first question to mark this CRN for SRIS evaluation.
  • Make sure to save the record after you update the SRIS evaluation to 1 for YES and you are done for this CRN.
  • Use the Roll Back arrow in the upper left of the Banner Form or press Shift F7 to repeat as necessary.

B. Directions for instructors to complete FIF

Two weeks prior to SRIS being open for students to complete, instructors will go into PAWS and complete the Faculty Information Form (FIF).

  • Login to Unify at unify.gcsu.edu
  • Click the PAWS icon
  • Click Faculty Services
  • Click Student Opinion of Teaching FIF Survey Link at bottom of page
  • Click on a class link
  • Scroll up and down to explore the SRIS FIF form
  • Choose your options
  • Click Submit at the bottom of the form when you are done.

C. Directions for students to complete SRIS

Students who have classes selected for evaluation will receive an email encouraging them to complete SRIS. To access SRIS and complete the survey for selected classes, students can do one of the following options:

Option #1:

  • Login to Unify at unify.gcsu.edu
  • Click the PAWS icon
  • Select Personal Information
  • At the bottom, select the link Student Opinion of Teaching Survey
  • Student will be presented with a list of classes and Take Survey button beside each one.
  • Click the Take Survey button for a class and it will present you with the student opinion survey form for that class.
  • Click Submit at the bottom when you have finished.
  • Repeat until all classes are gone from the list.

Option #2:

  • Click on the one time use link provided in the email, which will open the default browser on the student’s computer/tablet/smartphone and take them to the class survey.
  • Click Submit at the bottom when you have finished. 

D. Instructors/Students/Department Chair/Director to access student opinion survey results

Upon the close of final exams for the term and the submission of final grades, Office of Academic Affairs generates the reports for both close-ended questions and open-ended comment questions.

Instructors may access their close-ended result reports as follows:

  • Login to Unify at unify.gcsu.edu
  • Click the PAWS icon
  • Click on Personal Information.
  • Click on Student Opinion of Teaching Survey Results
  • Then select the Survey Term and the instructor's Department and press Submit. On this page you may also select See Previous Terms Reports for those terms prior to Spring 2009
  • Then Select Instructor and press Select Instructor

Students may access the reports for close-ended questions by doing the following: 

  • Login to Unify at unify.gcsu.edu
  • Click the PAWS icon
  • Click on Personal Information.
  • Click on Student Opinion of Teaching Survey Results
  • Select the Survey Term and Subject and press Submit
  • Then Select Instructor and press Select Instructor
  • Select classes and select Show to Screen or Download File and press Run Report

Department Chairs/Directors may access complete reports, including comments, by doing the following:

  • Login to Unify at unify.gcsu.edu
  • Click the PAWS icon
  • Click on GCSU Reports
  • Under GCSU Reports Menu select Department Chairs Menu
  • Enter password and click on I agree to abide by this policy button to enter the menu
  • Click on SOS Processing link for historical results. For current results choose Student Rating of Instruction Results
  • Pick the Survey Term and click Submit.
  • A list of CRNs is presented that can be filtered. Click on the Adobe icon under Comments or Summary to download the appropriate PDF. You may then save or print the document.
  • Only those classes and instructors that belong to your department will show.

Contacts:  Associate Provost, Academic Affairs

Approval Date:  Motion Number 1415.FAPC.003.P  Motion signed by President Steve Dorman on February 12, 2016