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Course Evaluations

Classification number ACD 1599.03
Framework category Academic
Approving authority Academic Council
Policy owner Vice-President, Academic and Provost
Approval date January 2004
Review date To be assigned


The main purposes of seeking student evaluation of teaching are to assist faculty members in monitoring and developing their effectiveness as teachers and to assist faculties in monitoring the quality of their curricula. Important additional purposes include identifying professional development needs, assisting in decisions regarding tenure and promotion, assisting in identifying exceptional teachers for teaching awards and documenting exceptional teaching.

On at least one occasion per course, feedback is provided to all instructors in the form of a university-approved questionnaire, the results of which go to the faculty in the person of the dean to support curriculum review and tenure and promotion processes, and to the instructor. The university also strongly encourages instructors to make use of ongoing course evaluation and regularly to inform students of how previous feedback has led to modification in the teaching of the course. Courses in which seven students or fewer are enrolled need not be evaluated.

Evaluation Instrument

On at least one occasion per course, all instructors shall arrange for their classes to complete an online survey that allows students to evaluate the course and instruction. The administration of the university-approved questionnaire does not preclude instructors from gathering and benefiting from student feedback independent of this exercise.

The survey is designed:

  • To allow for the quantification of some of the results;

  • To provide feedback on both course content and the instructor’s pedagogical effectiveness;

  • To assess the effectiveness of the university’s special mandate to provide technologically-mediated teaching;

  • To distinguish feedback for various instructors when more than one is involved in the course; and

  • To preserve student anonymity.


The administration of the survey shall have the following features:

  • the date on which the survey is to be administered to students is announced to the class in advance;

  • the date for the evaluation is set reasonably close to the end of the course; and

  • a sufficient amount of class time is allowed for the completion of the survey.

A separate document will outline the procedures for the administration of course evaluations. 

Availability of Results

The results of the evaluations are provided to the instructor as soon as possible after the submission of final marks. In addition, the results shall be made available to the following:

  • Curriculum committees and other review bodies/individuals: for purposes of curricular review;

  • Deans: for purposes of mentoring faculty, allocating merit pay and selecting candidates for teaching awards; and

  • Tenure and promotion committees: for their mandated purposes.

Faculties may decide to disseminate the results more broadly. The university encourages faculties to make quantifiable results available to students.