On this page we've provided information and compiled questions we often get from instructors. Please be sure to coordinate with your department's FCQ coordinator to avoid duplicating efforts. To view the university policy on course evaluations, please see Administrative Policy Statement 1009
Ensure you are accessing the correct portal based on your user group*
- Students: Use the Course Evaluation portal, https://colorado.campuslabs.com/courseeval
- Instructors: Use the Faculty portal, https://colorado.campuslabs.com/faculty
- Administrators: Use the Administration portal, https://colorado.campuslabs.com/ce
*If you belong to multiple user groups (e.g. a graduate student who also teaches, an administrator who is attending a class), you will need to use multiple portals. You will not be able to access all your courses in one location.
If you experience performance issues with the Campus Labs platform, such as slow loading times or site outages, contact Campus Labs Support:
Online: https://courseevaluationsupport.campuslabs.com/hc/en-us, and click on green “Contact Us” button in the upper-right corner
Phone: 716-270-0000 (available from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. MT, Monday through Friday)
- FCQs for combined sections are set up under the sponsoring section only, and all students enrolled, regardless of which section they are enrolled in.
Custom questions may be submitted at any time, but in order to appear on evaluations within the current term they must be submitted before the FCQ calendar deadline (usually week 7 or 8 of the semester). Questions submitted past the deadline will still be accepted, but they won't appear on the FCQ until the following term. For example, the deadline in fall 2019 was November 8:
- Questions submitted by November 8 appeared on the fall 2019 evaluations
- Questions submitted in December were held until the following term
The deadline date will be posted at the beginning of each term and distributed to FCQ coordinators.
Important: Custom questions can be attached to courses, subjects, departments or instructor roles (e.g., primary, secondary, TA), but not to sections or instructors. In other words, only submit questions that you plan to use for multiple sections, classes or semesters. For example, if you would like to add custom questions to DCBA-1000, those questions will be asked in each section of DCBA-1000. They can't be restricted to section 002 only. One-time use questions, or instructor-specific questions, will not be accepted.
Please submit custom questions to email@example.com.
There is no official limit on the number of questions, but we recommend a max of 5 to avoid causing survey fatigue (2-3 is the ideal amount). The more questions there are, the less likely students are to complete them, particularly if there are instructor or open text questions.
For the most part, questions are accepted as is. If there is a situation where we feel that a question could be phrased better, we’ll offer suggestions (our survey team has a lot of experience in question design), but ultimately it’s up to the department if they want to accept the suggested edits.
The only times we would reject a custom question is if it is asking for personal information that might circumvent student anonymity (such as race, gender, etc.) or if it duplicates a question from the core question set.
While asking accreditation questions as custom questions is currently permitted, it is not considered best practice as the FCQ is designed to collect feedback on the course and the instructor. Conflating the FCQ and accreditation questions could be confusing to students completing the evaluation and contribute to survey fatigue. Collecting data for the Self-Study Report is the responsibility of the educational unit submitting the report for accreditation.
The FCQ program is unable to process these results as thoroughly as we do the core FCQ questions, as there are more than 1,000 active custom questions. Our first responsibility is to collect and post the core instrument items.
On request, we can provide you with the raw data for your custom questions.
We are not required to collect your accreditation data or responsible if there are technology failures that disrupt or prevent the collection thereof.
It is STRONGLY advised that these items are not included as custom questions. In 2018, the Boulder Faculty Assembly (BFA) passed a resolution to remove the omnibus questions (rate the course/instructor overall) from the FCQ. The two motivating factors were the potential for bias, in particular how a student's response could be influenced by an instructor's personal identity characteristics, and to reinforce the importance of using multiple measures in teaching evaluations rather than relying solely on course evaluations.
The FCQ program will not compile the results or generate reports for omnibus questions.
- Midterm evaluations are strongly encouraged.
- The purpose of a midterm evaluation is to provide feedback to the instructor and it should be given early in the semester, preferably around the third week.
- If you would like to use the FCQ questions for a midterm evaluation, download a copy from the Forms and Reports page under "Sample reports."
- Although the FCQ program does not process results for data gathered outside the Campus Labs platform, instructors can use other survey tools like Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, etc.
Department FCQ Administration and Collection
In January 2018, faculty from the Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs campuses determined that FCQ administrations will take place during week 14 of the 15-week class meeting schedule (excluding fall/spring breaks) and be open for a duration of eight days. This was determined by a survey sent to all faculty.
The results of the survey are available on our one page summary.
- Fall and spring terms: FCQs will be administered for eight days beginning in week 14 (the penultimate week of classes) and extending through the weekend. Check the FCQ calendar for the current spring or fall term’s specific administration dates.
- Early administrations: For courses that operate outside of the traditional 15-week class meeting schedule, we offer numerous administrations throughout the semester. We make every effort to set up an administration during your class meeting period, but this is not always possible with short courses or study abroad. Please work with your department FCQ coordinator if you will need an early FCQ administration.
- Extended administrations: The FCQ program will never close an administration early, but we reserve the right to extend it as needed, whether due to technical issues, low response rates or the needs of faculty.
- Summer classes: During the summer, FCQs are administered each week. Please check the FCQ calendar for the administration window.
There are various reports available to departments/instructors. View types of reports for all campuses.
Academic units may want to use a composite score made up of the average of the individual scores for questions 1-8 in the CU Denver form. For undergrad classes, the correlation between the new composite score and the "overall" rating average from historical data was .91 (p= .002). This is a very strong relationship. In other words, those who rated high on the new composite score also received high ratings on their average overall instructor rating from past semesters. The correlation between the response rate and the new composite was r = .69 (p = .04), so the higher the response rate, the higher the overall new composite score rating.
Questions 9-20 of the CU Denver form is designed to be more formative in nature. The goal is not to earn the highest possible score on all of the questions (in fact this is probably impossible). Rather, individual units and faculty should use this section to set goals and then measure how well students perceive faculty to have met these goals.
The FCQ program only reports results from data that are collected through the Campus Labs platform. While there are multiple reasons for this policy, the primary reason is the ability to ensure the quality of data that are collected by the FCQ program. Subsequently, data collected independently by a department using its own methods (e.g., Qualtrics, Blackboard, MailChimp, paper form or any other survey tool) will not be reported by the FCQ program.
The results for the FCQ are meant to be used for the following:
- Individual instructors for use in improving their courses and teaching.
- Department chairs and deans for use in course assignments and in promotion, salary, and tenure decisions.
- Students for use in course selection.
We have added medians to our section reports (as of fall 2001). However, means will continue to be our primary method of reporting averages for the following reasons:
- With a 6-point scale, the median does a poor job of discriminating among courses, in that it can take on only the following values:
- With an odd number of raters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6
- With an even number: 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, or 6
- The mean, by contrast, can take on any value between 1 and 6. Using a statistic that takes on so few values and is affected by whether there are even or odd numbers of raters can be quite misleading. Medians are more often used with such measures as income, which can take on a very large number of values spread over a very large range.
- A trimmed mean is computed in the same manner as an untrimmed mean except that some observations are first deleted from both ends (tails) of a distribution. The criteria for deletion could be something like 5% off each end, or could depend on the data, e.g., more than two standard deviations from the mean. This is similar to dropping the lowest test score for a student's grade in a class, not an unusual approach.
- However, FCQ ratings typically are not normally distributed, but tend to be bunched at the high end of the scale. Therefore the primary effect of any trimming would be to drop a disproportionate number of low ratings.
- We prefer to use all ratings when estimating a mean FCQ score. We have no immediate plans to report trimmed means, and would continue to report untrimmed means in any case.
The FCQ program should be only one component of a well-rounded instructor rating system.
The Office of Data Analytics conducted research in 2016. The study was designed to look for possible effects of instructor gender and ethnicity on FCQ ratings (student ratings of courses and after statistically controlling the effects of class level (graduate vs. undergraduate), size, and department. We examined tenured and tenure-track (TTT) and non-TTT instructors separately, and excluded teaching assistants (TAs).
The major findings of the study regarding gender were gender differences were exceedingly small.
To learn more about this research, and look at other sub groups like race/ethnicity, TTT and non-TTT instructors, please view our PDF report.
There is no longer a paper option, and any paper FCQs sent to the FCQ office will be returned unopened and unprocessed. If you use paper evaluations, it will be for internal use and course/instructor improvement, but the results will not be part of the official FCQ report or appear on the website.
No. Only classes in CU-SIS will receive evaluations. You will need to enter a class into CU-SIS in order for it to receive FCQs.
Yes. The combined minimum enrollment is three. For example, if courses 4010 and 5010 make up a combined course, and there are two students enrolled in 4010 and one in 5010, then they will receive FCQs.
The minimum combined course enrollment to receive FCQs is three students. The reasons are twofold:
- To protect student anonymity (fewer students increases the likelihood of identification based on student comments)
- Protect data integrity (if students fear they are identifiable, they may be less critical of an instructor, which compromises data comparisons).
The FCQ program has created a Qualtrics version of the FCQ, which can be administered online. These will not be posted with FCQ results, but can be used for evaluation and portfolio purposes. You may also design and use an instrument of your choosing and administer through paper, Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, the LMS, or some other method.
If your department/campus doesn’t have a Qualtrics license, we recommend using Survey Monkey, your campus LMS, or paper for internal evaluations.
Yes. Any enrolled student on the class roster in CU-SIS will receive an invitation to complete an FCQ, including auditors. If an auditor is not on the class roster in CU-SIS, they will not receive an FCQ.
Mandatory Reporting and FCQs
All CU staff working with Faculty Course Questionnaires are mandatory reporters, which means that we are required to report violations of campus policies to the appropriate campus office:
Colorado Springs: Office of Institutional Equity
Denver: Office of Equity
As part of this duty, we run a text analysis of student FCQ comments at the end of each term, flagging comments that contain keywords that were compiled with the assistance of the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance at the CU Boulder campus.
After flagging, comments are reviewed and discussed by at least two staff members of the Office of Data Analytics (ODA), which oversees the FCQ program. The review is to determine whether a student comment is reporting misconduct. Comments deemed reportable are then forwarded to the appropriate campus office.
The purpose is to help promote a safe campus environment for students, faculty and staff. For more information on campus policies and resources, please select your campus from the list below.
Boulder Mandatory Reporting
When is someone required to report?
The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) is responsible for addressing sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, exploitation and harassment, intimate partner abuse, and stalking), protected class discrimination and harassment, and any related retaliation at CU Boulder.
All employees who have the authority to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, grade, formally advise, or direct faculty, staff or students are considered "responsible employees" and are required to report to OIEC.
- A responsible employee who becomes aware of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, exploitation, and harassment, intimate partner abuse, and stalking), discrimination or harassment involving any member of the CU community must report it to OIEC.
- This applies whether the member of our community is the person who was subjected to the misconduct or the person accused of the misconduct.
- This applies regardless of where or when an incident occurred or how the information was conveyed to a responsible employee.
- The purpose of mandatory reporting is to ensure safety, offer support and resources (such as the Office of Victim Assistance), understand the scope of the concern, and to get the behavior to stop.
- When in doubt, contact OIEC for further guidance at 303-492-2127 or report at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Report
If you are considering reporting a concern, you can explore your options. There are skilled people who deal with a range of harmful behaviors that impact members of the CU community.
If you are a responsible employee looking to better understand your obligation to report, read more about what mandatory reporting means and when it applies.
Discrimination & Harassment
Unfair treatment, abusive words or expressions, or intimidating behavior aimed at any member of the campus community based on an aspect of identity protected by CU Boulder policy is reportable to the university.
Sexual Assault, Stalking & Abuse in a Relationship
Sexual behavior that is unwanted, unwelcome, or not consensual, abuse within an intimate or dating relationship, and stalking are reportable to the university and/or police. The policy applies to current or past behavior, on or off campus, whether the perpetrator is known or unknown.
Hazing & Other Abusive Conduct
Hazing refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate and is reportable to the university.
Concerns About Someone
If a member of the CU community is a potential threat to themselves or others, or appears distressed, withdrawn, depressed, anxious, or in crisis, you can make a referral to case managers on campus who will outreach to the person of concern and offer resources and supportive services.
Behavior in a classroom or an academic setting (e.g., office hours or conversations with a faculty member) that interferes with normal academic functions is considered disruptive and there are options for addressing concerns. This doesn’t mean civil discourse or disagreements within an academic setting, but rather behavior that hinders the educational process. This applies when the behavior is directed at other students or faculty members.
There are resources for understanding the university standards for ethical behavior in academics settings, research activities, and professional conduct. This page includes links to policies and guidelines, and information about where to report concerns of ethics violations or research misconduct. There are also options for anonymous reporting.
UCCS Mandatory Reporting
A responsible employee who witnesses or receives a written or oral report or complaint of sexual misconduct, protected class discrimination and harassment, or related retaliation must promptly report it to the Title IX Coordinator/Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). A failure to report this information promptly to the Title IX Coordinator/OIE is a policy violation.
If an individual discloses an incident to a responsible employee who by definition is a mandatory reporter, but the individual wishes to maintain privacy and requests that no investigation be conducted, that no disciplinary action be taken, or that the allegation not be reported to law enforcement, the responsible employee remains required to report all relevant information to the Title IX Coordinator/OIE.
Who is a Responsible Employee?
A responsible employee is any employee who:
- Has the authority to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, grade, formally advise, or direct faculty, staff, or students;
- Has the authority to take action to redress sexual misconduct as defined herein; and/or
- Has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX Coordinator.
Examples of responsible employees include, but are not limited to: faculty, teaching assistants, residence advisors, academic advisors, coaches, supervisors, and anyone who leads, administers, or directs University programs.
*This does not include any medical, mental health, Ombuds, or counseling office personnel, in addition to any other offices covered by a statutory privilege or designated in campus procedures as not subject to mandatory reporting to the University.
How to Report?
Why Does a Responsible Employee Have to Report?
- To ensure that the Complainant, the person alleging the misconduct is safe. In addition to addressing the concerns, the Office of Institutional Equity often partners with other UCCS resources to ensure the Complainant is receiving all the support the individual needs during a time where they are often anxious, stressed, and confused.
- To understand the true nature and scope of the Complainant’s concerns. Often, Complainants only tell the responsible employee a fraction of what has been going on with the Respondent(s). The OIE provides a safe environment for the Complainant to discuss their concerns in depth. In exchange, the OIE can address those concerns by learning who is involved, what has been occurring, why the Complainant believes the conduct is occurring, and what the Complainant would like to see happen.
- To get the behaviors to stop. In order to enforce the policies, the OIE must be aware of the concerns. The OIE has been tasked with ensuring employees are acting in accordance with the policies and is in the best position to promptly and consistently address concerns across the campus.
Denver Mandatory Reporting
Any faculty or staff member who is considered a Responsible Employee, as defined herein, who witnesses or receives information regarding possible prohibited protected class discrimination or harassment is required to promptly report the information to the Office of Equity or his or her designee. Such information about the alleged conduct, where possible, should include:
- Name of the alleged complainant(s);
- Name of alleged respondent(s);
- Name of any alleged witnesses; and
- Any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident.
All other individuals who become aware of an incident of Prohibited Conduct are highly encouraged to report all known details about the Prohibited Conduct to the University Office of Equity by telephone, email, in person, or through the University’s online Incident Report Form.
The University may have an obligation to report to the police, keeping the name of the victim confidential, in circumstances where the incident includes an allegation that a crime has been committed.
Student responses on FCQs are anonymous to instructors and department leads, and the identities of respondents are confidential (e.g., only accessible to the Office of Data Analytics (ODA)). No student names appear in the FCQ data processed by the ODA and will never appear in public reports.
However, when legally required, we will identify a student to the proper person or agency. This is a very rare occurrence and is only done when legally required, such as when a member of the CU community (students, faculty, staff, etc.) threatens to inflict serious harm on themselves or others. For more information about confidentiality, click on the link for your campus below:
Boulder: Office of Victim's Assistance
Colorado Springs: Office of Institutional Equity
Denver: Policy Number 3054, Section E