University of Iowa

ACE best practices for instructors

  • Remind students that online evaluations are completely anonymous.
    • Iowa's software allows students to login with their Hawk ID, but once logged in, the students immediately become anonymous in the system.
    • On paper-based forms, some faculty recognized students' handwriting. Moving online eliminates that.
    • Remind students that by moving online, the University is trying to be eco-friendly.
  • Let students know that you will not see any results until after final grades have been submitted.
  • Before starting the evaluation time in class, reiterate the importance of honest feedback for you as the instructor.
    • Positive and negative feedback are both important.
    • Include examples of how feedback has been used in the past to improve the class.
    • Guide students on how to write helpful feedback.
  • Show students how to access the evaluation form through ICON or MyUI.
  • Allow time for students to fill out the evaluation during class time. It has been proven that the response rate is higher if the evaluations are filled out in the middle of class instead of at the beginning or end.
    • Designate a particular day and ask students to bring any mobile device they are comfortable using.
    • Iowa's system allows use of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc.
  • Include a small write-up on the syllabus explaining how important the evaluation is to get feedback on your teaching and the classroom environment.
    • You can indicate the course evaluation as a calendar item on your syllabus so students are aware when they may be asked to offer feedback about the course, indicating you are open to feedback throughout the semester as well.
    • Give an example of how you have altered something in the past based on student feedback.
    • You can include some examples of useful student comments.
  • Let students know that others at the school, including administration (Deans/Associate Deans who help guide academics) may also review the evaluation, which could help them with curriculum and strategic planning to more easily accommodate students' needs.
  • Add self-designed questions to the survey to make it a more personal experience for students for that particular course. Remind students that you have done added such questions.
  • Create a culture of feedback in other places in the course.
  • Thank the students for taking the time to share their feedback.


ACE Encourage Students to give Constructive Feedback

Download the ACE Encourage Your Students to Give Constructive Feedback as a PDF.

Support for ACE Online Evaluations