FAQs for staff

Answers to commonly asked questions about course and teaching evaluations.

Important note: SET has been revised and changes will be implemented for Quarters 3 and 4 Semester 2, 2023. See the updated guidelines here.

How do I know when SET is taking place?

The University's SET evaluation period is the final two teaching weeks of semester (or quarter), and the last teaching week of Summer School - 2023 dates are listed on the SET evaluation periods page. Note that S2 evaluation period has been changed in June 2023.

How do I find out whether a course is eligible to be evaluated in SET?

This information can be found on the About SET page.

I am teaching a course that is eligible for SET, but I cannot see my name in the SET schedules. What can I do so that I will be evaluated with the course?

  1. Make sure you meet the SET eligibility criteria.
  2. For an eligible teacher to be include in SET, they must also have a 'Teacher' role in Canvas. The 'Teacher' role assignment must be made before the SET Faculty deadline (please check with Group Services for the date).

If your Canvas role assignment is not accurate, and it is within the SET Faculty change deadline, please contact the course's Canvas administrator to change your role. (Note: it takes 4 days for Canvas changes to take effect; no Canvas changes to role will be picked up after the SET Faculty deadline).

If the SET Faculty deadline has passed or you are not eligible for SET teaching evaluations and you still wish to seek student feedback, you may consider setting up a Qualtrics survey for formative feedback, or using the Qualtrics SET template for summative evaluation. Please see the detailed guides on Qualtrics for SET.

What are the required actions for Associate Deans, Heads of School/Department, academic and professional staff in the SET process?

We have outlined for staff key SET activities against the semester timeline. This is available at SET Resources 

How is the Canvas ‘Teacher’ Role related to SET evaluations?

The list of teachers for SET and the course-teacher relationship come from the Canvas 'Teacher' role.

Any staff member with a Canvas 'Teacher' role assigned before the SET Faculty deadline will be automatically included in SET for teaching evaluation. They can monitor response rates (via Canvas>course page>SET Reports) and will receive the SET  Teaching Report (if final response count is greater than 5) and the SET Course Report.

Is a Course Director evaluated in SET?

SET only considers Course Directors nominated within the CS9 system, and this nomination is part of the examination process.

CS9 Course Directors are not automatically evaluated as teachers. However, they can monitor the evaluation response rate (via Canvas>course page>SET Reports) and receive the SET Course Report for the course.

I am a contract teacher – will my teaching be evaluated?

Yes, if you have a significant teaching role. This means that you have teaching and other course responsibilities equivalent to at least that performed by a PTF. 

Before your name is linked with the course you teach, you must also have 1) an established University identity, 2) a completed ITS-25 form, and 3) a valid University email address. For more information see Identity and Access Management.

The final decision about whether you are eligible for evaluation will be made by the Associate Dean (Academic) in your faculty, in consultation with your Academic Head and Course Director. 

As a contract teacher who has been evaluated, will I see my teaching report and the course report?

Yes, you will be able to access and retrieve reports from Canvas as long as you have a University email address. Please contact your faculty to request a University email address.

I am a tutor, GTA or demonstrator - how do I evaluate my teaching?

Tutors, graduate teaching assistants and demonstrators can seek feedback on their teaching using formative evaluation - for example, a quick survey.

What if I am incorrectly listed in SET as a teacher of a course?

If you find yourself incorrection listed as a teacher in SET:

  • Before the SET Faculty deadline: Please contact your course's Canvas Administrator to assign you a role that is not 'Teacher'.
  • After the SET Faculty deadline: It is not possible to remove you from the SET source data. Please inform you Associate Dean (Academic and/or Learning and Teaching) to discuss possible solutions with the Academic Quality Office.  This applies to situations where a teacher has to be changed in the middle of a semester due to unforeseen circumstances.

What if I am incorrectly listed in SET as a Course Director of a course?

SET Course Directors are imported from CS9 and entered by Assessment Services early in the term. You can find important dates and deadlines on the Assessment Services website.

Can I opt out of a SET evaluation?

Unless the specific SET implementation provides a 'teacher opt-out' option, in standard SET, the answer is No. This is set out in Item 8 of the Enhancement and Evaluation of Teaching and Courses Policy.

How do I seek student feedback if I teach a small course (fewer than 5 students) under the eligibility threshold?

Alternative surveying approaches (e.g. Qualtrics) may be used although other means of evaluating the course may be more appropriate. 

Where do I find information about setting up a summative Qualtrics survey for my course?

Summative Qualtrics surveys may be used instead of SET only in faculty-approved and Academic Quality Office-approved cases where a course has a unique delivery timing.

All Qualtrics surveys must use the SET University questionnaire and include the appropriate faculty Associate Dean (Academic) as a survey collaborator. Click here for information on setting up a Qualtrics course or teaching evaluation.

How do I access SET reports?

Course and teacher evaluation reports will be available shortly after the close of the evaluation period. These reports are generated by the SET system. Reports are available through the 'SET Reports' menu item in any Canvas course page, or an emailed link to a specific report. You can also access the reports directly via the SET portal.

Why is my individual SET Report 'greyed out' in the Dashboard?

When a SET Course and Teaching Report is 'greyed out' in your dashboard, and 'Not Met' appears after the SET report name, it means that the number of responses received for that evaluation is fewer than 5, and an individual teaching report will not be made available. This is set out in Item 52 of the Enhancement and Evaluation of Teaching and Courses Policy.

From Q3,2023, SET Course Reports are distributed to teachers regardless of responses. These do not include summarised results of teaching questions. For earlier terms, you may choose to obtain a copy of the SET Course Report from the Course Director and/or Academic Head.

What type of SET reports are available and who sees them?

SET report Available to Format
SET Teaching Report
  • Individual teachers
  • Academic Heads
  • Associate Deans (Academic) and (Learning & Teaching)
  • Deans
SET Course Report
  • Individual teachers (new from Q3, S2 2023)
  • Course Directors
  • Academic Heads
  • Associate Deans (Academic) and (Learning & Teaching)
  • Deans
Academic Unit SET Summary Report
  • Academic Heads
  • Associate Deans (Academic) and (Learning & Teaching)
  • Deans
Faculty SET summary report
  • Associate Deans (Academic) and (Learning & Teaching)
  • Deans

How do I interpret SET reports?

For individual academic staff, a Quick Guide has been developed for interpreting the information in your SET report, and for providing feedback to students.

For Deans, Associate Deans, and Heads of Department, a Quick Guide to Academic Unit and/or Faculty SET Reports has been developed. To access these guides, see the Resources page.

How do I treat inappropriate comments in my SET reports?

Open-ended comments will be provided to staff unedited. Academic staff who are concerned about a comment in a SET report should consult Information for Staff on Inappropriate Comments in SET Evaluations.

What should I tell my students about SET?

The most important messages for students are:

  • Please complete the evaluations, when you are invited to give feedback!
  • Feedback through SET evaluations is important to individual teachers, and to the University, and will make a difference in future iterations of the course.
  • Feedback should be honest and constructive.

Their feedback is secure and confidential. There is a PowerPoint presentation available for use in class you might consider as the message for students. To access the PowerPoint, see the Resources page.

Can I remain in the room while my students complete evaluations on devices?

Yes, although some teachers prefer to have a professional staff member administer the survey if done in class on devices.

How do I share evaluation outcomes with my current and future students?

The most important thing to do with SET evaluation is to respond to the feedback presented, regardless of whether changes can be made. This can usually be done through Canvas, and through a briefing to next year's class about what changes have been made. If no changes are going to be made, give an explanation. Students appreciate having their feedback taken seriously.

Write up what you did, the feedback you got, and how you intend to respond to that feedback. Put this into your Digital Course Outline. Keep this as a record of your reflective practice – it will prove valuable as you develop your teaching practice, or when you want to provide evidence of teaching effectiveness for other purposes.

How do I get historical evaluation reports (from the former Cecil system)?

CECIL was decommissioned on 30 September, 2021. The CECIL Enterprise Learning Management System was removed as a storage device from October 2021, including for teaching evaluations.  Staff were requested to extract any data needed prior to 30 September 2021 when CECIL was decommissioned.

SET reports are available for evaluated courses since 2016. 

How are low response rates, report configuration threshold, and apparent outliers demonstrated in SET and SMR?

Evaluations benefit from a high response rate. While it is sometimes difficult to achieve those, staff should aim for response rates greater than 20% and to improve their response rates compared to the last iteration of the course. Note that smaller classes should, in general, have higher response rates. Staff may address the response rate when providing feedback to students to 'close the loop', and take it into account when planning measures how to increase SET response rates in future iterations of the course.

SET Teaching Report (individual report) requires 5 or more responses to be configured and distributed after evaluations are closed. SET Teaching Reports with fewer than 5 responses would show as 'greyed out' reports.

In the case of apparent outliers in a course or teaching evaluation response, it is not the usual practice of the Academic Quality Office to 'clean' the data by removing these responses. Staff might consider including an explanatory note for the apparent outliers when using SET reports.

Who do I contact if I have questions about SET?

Faculty contacts can be viewed on the SET Contacts page.

For further information, contact the Academic Quality Office via quality@auckland.ac.nz.