DePaul University Academic Affairs > Leadership Resources > Assessment & APRC > Frequently Asked Questions
DePaul University's Online Teaching Evaluation (OTE)system is a web-based application that allows:
The system offers the possibility to each faculty to add up to 5 questions to the evaluation of each of their classes. The availability to you of this functionality is decided by your academic unit. (College/School or department or program). If this functionality is available to you, you will find it in Campus Connect > For Instructors > Online Teaching Eval-Faculty > Add Questions to my Class(es). You can find more information and training videos here.
The system allows three type of questions:
Item and maximum characters allowed:
Text of each question (no matter what type)... 130 characters
Text of students’ answer to each open ended question... 3999 characters
Number of values in a Likert scale... 7 values
Text of name/description of each value in a Likert scale... 30 characters
If this functionality is available to you, you will receive an email with instructions. In a typical quarter, this email will be sent at the beginning of week seven and you will have two weeks to add your questions to the evaluation.
Yes, after 20 minutes of inactivity you'll be logged out of CampusConnect. You are encouraged to think about your questions carefully before entering the system and prepare them in a separate text document. Cutting and pasting from a text document instead of typing questions from scratch will be easier and faster.
For regular quarter-long courses, students’ access to evaluations will begin on week 9 and will end at a date specified by academic units. For special length courses, units will specify the window of time during which they want their students to access the evaluation system.
Students will receive a personalized email reminder at the beginning of the evaluation period. The email will be triggered by the availability of evaluations for any course in which the student is enrolled.
The message will list ALL courses in which the student is enrolled and for which the evaluation period is active. The message will indicate if any of the courses have already been evaluated by the student.
Email reminders will be sent every other day for the first week of the evaluation period, and then every day for the remaining amount of time during which evaluations are open. For special length classes, if the evaluation period is longer than two weeks, email reminders will follow the same pattern as the ones sent for regular quarter length classes. If the evaluation period is less than two weeks long, students will receive email reminders daily. If at the same time a students has an active regular quarter class and a special class, the email will be sent with the highest of the two frequencies.
Email reminders will stop when all available evaluations have been completed.
Evaluation results are collected and made available to the instructor and their supervisors with no identifying information, DePaul ID number, or other data.
The following type of reports are available to you in pdf, excel, or html format via a web tool accessible through Campus Connect (CampusConnect > For Instructors > Online Teaching Eval-Faculty > My Reports):
More information on accessing and interpreting reports can be found on the Teaching Commons website.
Reports will be available to you no later than 48 hours after you posted grades for your class in Campus Connect.
No, only the primary instructor can add questions and be evaluated via this system.
If you have any difficulties with the application please contact the Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 362-8765.
The OTE system handles combined classes by following the instructor. An example might help understanding this statement. Let's say you taught a section of PHL 228 that was cross-listed with a section of MGT 228. If you are a faculty in the Philosophy department of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, then all students filled out the evaluation prepared by the Philosophy department for the classes that the dept considers as part of the Philosophy Liberal Studies program. If you are a faculty in the Management department of the College of Business, then all students filled out the evaluation prepared by the College of Business.
The OTE system treats the class resulting from the cross-listing and combining as a unique class. You do not need to access reports for each of the components of the class to get the results. A concrete example might be useful. Let's say you taught a section of PHL 228 that was cross-listed with a section of MGT 228. And let us assume that 15 students registered for PHL 228 while 25 students registered for MGT 228. OTE treated this class as a single class with 40 students and computed means and standard deviations for the students' answers on the basis of 40 students.
The OTE system allows you to compare data (means and standard deviations) from your class with data coming from the different academic units involved in the cross-listing. A concrete example will help to understand how this works.
SCENARIO 1: You are a faculty member in the Management department of the College of Business and you taught a section of MGT 228 that was cross-listed with a section of PHL 228. Because you are a faculty in the Management department of the College of Business, all students filled out the evaluation prepared by the College of Business. It makes sense then to compare your results with all classes in Business which used the same evaluation. This is the most natural comparison for you. You get a report with these comparison data if you request a statistical report for your MGT 228 class. On the other hand, you might be interested in seeing how you fared in comparison with all classes that were cross listed with Philosophy but used your same evaluation. If you request a statistical report for your PHL 228 section you will obviously get your same data as in the previous report but this time you will be compared with the means and standard deviations of all courses in the Philosophy Liberal Studies program and in the Philosophy department that used the Business instrument.
SCENARIO 2: You are a faculty member in the Philosophy department, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and you taught a section of PHL 228 that was cross-listed with a section of MGT 228. Because you are a faculty in the Philosophy department, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and PHL 228 is part of the Philosophy Liberal Studies Program, all students filled out the evaluation prepared by the Philosophy Liberal Studies Program. It makes sense then to compare your results with all classes in the Philosophy Liberal Studies Program and (for the questions for which this makes sense) with all classes in the Philosophy department. These are the most natural comparisons for you. You get a report with these comparison data if you request a statistical report for your PHL 228 class. On the other hand, you might be interested in seeing how you fared in comparison with all classes that were cross-listed with MGT but used your same evaluation. If you request a statistical report for your MGT 228 section you will obviously get your same data as in the previous report but this time you will be compared with the means and standard deviations of all courses in the College of Business that used the Philosophy Liberal Studies evaluation.
Administrators in charge of OTE for an academic unit (College, Department, Program) that administers its own evaluations (as opposed to one which delegates administration to its own subunits) have essential quarterly responsibilities:
In a regular 10 weeks quarter OTE administrators must initiate the process, exclude classes, enter special classes and resolve cross-listed conflicts by the end of the 6th week of the quarter. No changes made to excluded and special classes after the beginning of week seven will be loaded in the system.
Administrators in charge of OTE for an academic unit (College, Department) that delegates the administration of evaluations to its own subunits (Departments, Programs) have one essential quarterly responsibility:
At the beginning of each quarter the admin must update the owners of records for all the subunits in the system. For example, when a new Chair of a Department or a new Director of a Program begins to serve as such, their information needs to be updated in the system. This is done by accessing the system at Campus Connect > For Employees > Online Teaching Eval-Admin > Set-up Tools > Edit Setting & Security, Evaluation Settings tab, clicking on Continue. Click on Edit next to the subunit whose owner needs to be updated, enter the First and/or Last Name and/or Emplid of the new owner and click Search. Click Select next to the new owner. Click Save.
Administrators in charge of OTE for an academic unit (College, Department, Program) that administers its own evaluations (as opposed to one which delegates administration to its own subunits) have three essential one-time responsibilities:
Online Teaching Evaluation (OTE) is a web-based application that allows:
The system gives complete control of the evaluation form to each College and its internal units.
The only exception concerns the 5 questions approved by faculty council in 2006, which are automatically added at the beginning of the evaluation form of each unit. Find here more information on these questions.
Upon request of a few units within the University, IS developed an OTE 1.0 system in March 2007 (pilot program) with the system in production in May 2007. The following Colleges-Schools used OTE 1.0:
Driehaus College of Business
School of Music
College of Law
School of Public Service
A decision to re-design and improve the application, working towards OTE 2.0, was made in 2008. The new version was launched in Fall 2009.
OTE consists of:
An administrative web tool, accessible through Campus Connect, that allows academic units to:
independently and autonomously join the system;
enter their evaluation forms;
set customized values for a number of system parameters;
access reports for their units.
A delivery module that will:
Generate the evaluation forms putting together the 5 university questions, questions inputted by academic units (Colleges-Schools, Departments, Programs), possible additional questions added by individual faculty, possible additional questions for courses that are special in some way (CBSL,….);
Deliver the evaluation to students via email messages with periodic reminders;
Collect and compile the data.
A faculty web tool accessible through Campus Connect, that will allow faculty to:
add personalized questions (up to 5) to evaluation forms for their classes each quarter;
access results of their evaluations in various forms.
OTE 2.0 is built around a hierarchy of users articulated in 5 levels.
1. Think of this as the CENTRAL/TECHNICAL level
2. Think of this as the COLLEGE/SCHOOL LEVEL
3. Think of this as the DEPARTMENT LEVEL
4. Think of this as the PROGRAM LEVEL
5. FACULTY LEVEL
Each College/School may or may not choose to take advantage of levels 3 and 4 of the hierarchy, thus allowing both a centralized and a decentralized model of course evaluation.
The labels "College/School", "Department", and "Program" are used here simply as examples. Each College/School and other high-level unit (the Liberal Studies Program for example) communicated its own internal structure to the OTE team.
The OTE team implemented the structure in People Soft using the Academic Organizations tree.
OTE 2.0 is built around a hierarchy of users articulated in 5 levels:
Here are the most important thing you need to know about the role of the hierarchy of users.
Each level of the hierarchy has one owner. For example, The Deans are owners of level 2, chairs in LAS and COE are owners of level 3.
The owner of each level is designated by the owner of one level up. Example: The Deans (or their proxies-see below) will communicate to the system who the owners of all their departments (if any) are, the Chairs (if any) will communicate to the system who the owners of all their programs (if any) are.
Each owner has full control of the evaluation process in her/his unit:
S/he communicates to the system that her/his unit will avail itself of the system itself in a specific quarter/semester. S/he enters questions (if applicable) to be used in the evaluation process. S/he sets all parameters necessary for the system to work. S/he decides (if applicable) if s/he wants to delegate the administration of the evaluation process to his/her sub-units.
Each owner can give access to the system to as many other people from his/her administrative team as s/he wishes. Owners can give three different level of access to other people:
Admin and reports: this choice creates a full proxy for the owner. Individuals with this level of security can perform all administrative functions (set parameters, decide whether to allow subunits to add questions….) and have full access to reports of evaluations results for all faculty members in your unit.
Admin only: Individuals with this level of security can perform all administrative functions (set parameters, decide whether to allow subunits to add questions….) but will not have access to any report of evaluation results of your unit.
Reports only: Individuals with this level of security will have full access to reports of evaluations results for all faculty members in your unit.
Classes are attached to one of the nodes created at the various level.
For example, all PSY classes will attached to the "Department of Psychology" node at the Department level in the College of LAS tree, all School of Continuing and Professional Studies undergraduate classes will be attached to the "Undergraduate" node at the Department level in the SCPS tree.
Statistics for a group of classes are computed only if the group is represented in the hierarchy as a node at one level of the tree.
The system allows three types of questions: Open ended, Yes/No, and Likert-scale.
There is technically no limit for the number of questions you can enter for an evaluation, although you should be mindful of the fact that very long evaluations might turn students off.The following table summarizes all existing upper bounds of which you must be aware. Item and maximum allowed:
Text of each question (no matter what type)... 130 characters
Text of students' answer to each open ended question... 3999 characters
Number of values in a Likert scale... 7 values
Text of name/description of each value in a Likert scale... 30 characters
If two or more classes are cross-listed within a unit (for example a graduate and undergraduate version of a class) and thus share the same evaluation form, OTE 2.0 will simply deliver to the students the unit's evaluation form with (if applicable) the instructors added questions.
If two or more classes are cross listed across different units (different departments, different colleges...), OTE will do the following:
Beginning on the first day of the quarter, OTE checks daily who the primary instructor of record for the combined class is.
OTE then checks payroll data to determine the academic unit to which the instructor of record belongs.
OTE then considers the combined class as belonging to the academic unit established in 2.2. and will deliver to the students the appropriate evaluation.
If payroll data is not available for the instructor of record, OTE cannot complete step 2.2. In this case an email is sent automatically by the system to ALL administrators involved with the combined class at hand, asking them to come to a consensus on which academic unit "owns" the class. Admins can then communicate the decision to the system via the web-tool. If a conflict is not resolved by the end of week 6, the class involved will not receive an evaluation.
OTE 2.0 associates the primary instructor of record in People Soft with each class. Only this faculty member will have access to results of the evaluations through the system.
Several units have expressed a desire for this feature. It will be considered during future revisions.
Many units have classes whose duration is non-standard.
OTE 2.0 refers to these classes as "Special."
The system gives each unit complete control on the evaluations for these classes. Each unit specifies when faculty can add questions (if applicable) and when students can conduct the evaluations for special classes.
Each unit may have a few special classes that might not be amenable to be evaluated by the current capabilities of the system. Once you are sure that one or more of your classes cannot possibly be served by OTE 2.0, you can communicate to the system that they need to be "Excluded."
A simple process accessible via the admin web-tool allows you to enter this information.
Students will receive a personalized email reminder, as in the sample below, at the beginning of the evaluation period.
The email will be triggered by the availability of evaluations for any course in which the student is enrolled.
The message will list ALL courses in which the student is enrolled and for which the evaluation period is active. The message will indicate if any of the courses has already been evaluated by the student.
Email reminders will be sent every other day for the first week of the evaluation period, and then every day for the remaining amount of time during which evaluations are open. For special length classes, if the evaluation period is longer than two weeks, email reminders will follow the same pattern as the ones sent for regular quarter length classes. If the evaluation period is less than two weeks long, students will receive email reminders daily.
If at the same time a students has an active regular quarter class and a special class, the email will be sent with the highest of the two frequencies.
At the beginning of week seven of a quarter, faculty members will receive a personalized message as in the image below. The message will contain an active link to the system, where the faculty member will be able to add questions to the evaluations of their classes.
The system generates the following reports, each of which is available in PDF, Excel, or HTML format via a web tool accessible through Campus Connect:
Three families of reports are available to admins:
Classes are attached to one of the nodes created at one of the levels of the hierarchy of the system. The system computes means and st-devs over each group of classes represented by a node at one of the levels of the hierarchy.
At the beginning of each quarter administrators receive an email message to alert/remind them of the need to attend to OTE business.
The body of the message depends on whether the academic unit of interest has sub-units or not specified in the hierarchy structure of the system.
Information on the process that led to the adoption by Faculty Council of these five questions in May 2006 can be found on the Teaching Commons.
The OTE working group agreed on a reordering of the questions. They will appear at the beginning of every evaluation, in the order listed here below.
Each unit has the ability to enter two separate evaluations: a standard evaluation for for face-to-face classes and an optional evaluation for OL classes.
These two evaluations can be completely different if the unit so chooses.
If a separate evaluation for OL classes is not entered AND the unit has OL classes scheduled, the standard evaluation is delivered to OL classes as well as face-to-face ones.
DePaul University's Online Teaching Evaluation System is a quick and efficient method to evaluate courses and make the results available to the instructors in a timely fashion. The evaluation is web-based and anonymous. The summary results will be shared with the instructor, department or program chair, deans, and provost.
Teaching evaluations are mandated by the University and your feedback is important. Course evaluations provide valuable feedback, which can be used to improve teaching and learning. The greater the level of participation, the more useful the results. As students, you are in the unique position to view the instructor over time. Your comments can help faculty build on the elements of the course that are strong and improve those that are weak. Isolated comments from students and instructors' peers are helpful, but evaluation results based on high response rates are more statistically reliable. Positive comments also show department chairs and college deans the instructors' commitment to teaching. Evaluation results are used in annual performance reviews.
The online system is open from the ninth week of the quarter. Simply log into Campus Connect during the evaluation window. Completing evaluations should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes per course. Periodic email reminders will be sent until you complete the evaluations for all courses in which you are enrolled. Once you submit your responses, the system records that you have completed an evaluation for a course and will not allow further opportunities for evaluation of that course.
Yes, after 20 minutes of inactivity you’ll be logged out of Campus Connect. You will then have to log in again and re-enter information in the evaluation form.
Course instructors will be able to view the evaluation results for their courses after final grades are submitted. At that time, administrators will be able to view results for their specific department or college.
Evaluation results are made available to your instructor and their supervisors with no identifying information, DePaul ID number, or other data that would allow your answers to be traced back to you.
You will evaluate the primary instructor online. Please check with your instructors if you have questions.
Unfortunately not. The OTE system is built with the anonymity of the student evaluator as primary concern. The data, by design, is collected in completely anonymous form. Once an evaluation is submitted, any trace of the identity of the student is severed permanently from the data itself, so it is impossible to retrieve a "wrong" evaluation, and to verify the identity of the evaluator. There is nothing we can do to correct the data in the system. If we were able to do this, it would mean that our system is significantly flawed in protecting your anonymity as a student evaluator.