About SET

SET (Summative Evaluation Tool) is the University's online course and teaching student evaluation system, powered by Explorance Blue.

Updated May 2022

What is SET?

SET refers to 'SET Course and Teaching Evaluations, where the acronym stands for 'Summative Evaluation Tool'.

SET is the University's centrally-implemented system for summative, online, student course and teaching evaluation. It is designed to facilitate student feedback on learning and teaching for students, teachers and academic managers.

Students have the opportunity to provide feedback through SET on eligible courses and teachers at the University each time a course is offered.

Visit the SET evaluation periods page for current details.

In SET, teaching and course evaluations are administered simultaneously using standard questionnaires for courses and teaching.

Read the SET-related policies and guidelines.

SET course and teacher eligibility


All eligible undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses are to be evaluated each time a course is offered.  Concurrently-taught/cross-listed courses are automatically considered as separate courses when applying SET eligibility filters, questionnaires and student emails. Courses that meet ALL of the following criteria are SET-eligible and will be automatically included in SET for course evaluation:

  • Primary Graded Component (PGC) is one of: LEC, LAB, SEM, STU, TUT, ONL, TBL and
  • Not PBRF-eligible and
  • Catalogue number does not end with A/X/Y and
  • At least 10 enrolled students, based on actual enrolment number up until the faculty-change deadline.

Note: If a course has 5 or more enrolments, Qualtrics can be used to seek student feedback. SET Qualtrics template


All eligible teachers associated with a course are to be evaluated each time a course is offered.  For each SET-eligible course, relevant academic staff members that meet the following criteria will be included in SET for teaching evaluation:

  • Has a 'Teacher' role on Canvas for the course (for data extraction).
  • Meets either of the following conditions
    • Has one of the following permanent or fixed-term roles: professor, associate professor, senior lecturer, lecturer, senior research fellow, research fellow, professional teaching fellow, senior tutor, OR
    • Is employed on a contract basis with a significant teaching role.  The final decision on a contract teacher's eligibility rests with the Associate Dean with responsibility for learning and teaching, in consultation with the Academic Head.

Tutors, Graduate Teaching Assistants and honorary and adjunct roles are not eligible for set.  For more information on course and teacher eligibility see SET FAQs.

To view a full list of current SET-eligible course and teaching staff see SMR Course and Teaching Evaluation Dashboard (University staff only)

SET questionnaires

The SET questionnaire is organised by course. Each course's SET questionnaire has two sections: Course Evaluation, and Teaching Evaluation. The Teaching Evaluation section will only display if the course has at least one teacher to be evaluated.

Students will first see and answer the Course Evaluation questions, followed by a Teacher Selection page where they select the teachers to evaluate from a list of to-be-evaluated Canvas teacher names and University profile photos.

The Teaching Evaluation section contains a separate set of identical teaching evaluation questions for each selected teacher.

Supplementary or optional questions are not available. There are no longer separate questionnaires for the evaluation of postgraduate, clinical, or general education courses.
Onshore and online student groups answer the same SET questions.

Here's a sample of the latest SET questionnaire.

Response type and scale

Both the SET course and teaching evaluation sections consist of two question types: rating and open-ended.

The rating questions are mandatory. The responses follow a 5-point Likert Scale with corresponding numerical values in the parentheses: (0) Not Applicable, (1) Strongly disagree, (2) Disagree, (3) Neutral, (4) Agree, (5) Strongly agree.

The open-ended questions are optional and ask for students' feedback as text input.

Course evaluation questions


  1. It was easy to find the information and resources I needed on the Canvas course website.
  2. The learning environment provided me with opportunities to communicate and/or collaborate with my peers.
  3. The learning environment allowed effective communication between teaching staff and students.
  4. I was clearly informed how my learning would be assessed.
  5. Assessments supported the aims of this course.
  6. I received helpful feedback on my learning progress.
  7. I felt part of a community of learners in this course.
  8. I felt I could stay motivated and engaged with my learning.
  9. I was satisfied with the quality of the small-group teaching (e.g. tutorial, laboratory, seminar, workshop) associated with this course.
  10. Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this course.

Open-ended questions

  1. Overall, what aspects of the course were most helpful for your learning?
  2. Overall, what did you find the most challenging about learning in this course?
  3. What changes could be made by the University that could address the challenges you have mentioned above?

Teaching evaluation questions

(Mandatory) 5-point rating questions

  1.  [Teacher name] was well-prepared for the lectures.
  2.  The objectives of the course were clearly explained.
  3.  [Teacher name] explained concepts and answered questions in ways that I can understand.
  4.  [Teacher name] used learning resources (including digital resources) in ways that supported my learning.
  5.  I found [teacher name] approachable.
  6.  [Teacher name] inspired me to learn.
  7.  Overall, [teacher name] was an effective teacher.

(Optional) Open-ended questions

  1.  What was most helpful for your learning?
  2.  What improvement(s) would you like to see?

Find answers to questions about SET

Many of the common questions staff have about SET are answered on the SET FAQs page

If your question is not addressed on that page, each faculty has nominated contacts that can help you with other SET evaluation questions.  See SET Contacts page.

For further information you may contact the central Evaluations Coordinator at quality@auckland.ac.nz.