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. If you are unable to find the answer within this page, please let us know by visiting and submitting a form on our contact us page.


Moving online: Encouraging high online response rates

View our training page complete with a 7 minute training video and quick tips for instructors looking to encourage high online response rates.

Faculty dashboard: How to view online response rates

View our one sheet to navigate the Campus Labs faculty dashboard and view online response rates.

Technical support: What to do if Campus Labs isn't accessible

Ensure you are accessing the correct portal based on your user group*

*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)

FCQ Charts: A graphics tool for the FCQ

This video tutorial walks you through the FCQ Charts page, https://www.colorado.edu/fcq/tutorials.

General Information

Combined sections
  • FCQs for combined sections are set up under the sponsoring section only, and all students enrolled, regardless of which section they are enrolled in.
  • If you have any questions about how to handle this, please email or call the FCQ program.
Custom questions

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 fcq@colorado.edu.

Midterm evaluations
  • 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 this PDF to photocopy
  • 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

Administration dates

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.
Administration procedure

See procedures for online FCQ administration for more detailed information.

FCQ results

Types of reports by campus

There are various reports available to departments/instructors. View types of reports for all campuses.

Denver instructors

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.

Results from other platforms

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.

Instructor FAQ

How are the FCQ reports used?

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.
Why do you report the mean of the FCQ scores, rather than the median?

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.
Have you considered reporting a trimmed mean?
  • 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.
How should a department use FCQ scores when evaluating an instructor's teaching?

The FCQ program should be only one component of a well-rounded instructor rating system.

Are FCQ results different for male and female instructors?

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.

Is there a paper option? If not, can I print and distribute paper versions of the new evaluation?

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.

Will I be able to request course-sections that aren't in CU-SIS?

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.

Is there a minimum enrollment for a course 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:

  1. To protect student anonymity (fewer students increases the likelihood of identification based on student comments)
  2. Protect data integrity (if students fear they are identifiable, they may be less critical of an instructor, which compromises data comparisons).
If my class isn't eligible to receive FCQs (e.g. low enrollment, ineligible section code, non-CU students, etc.), what evaluation tools may I use?

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.