Course Evaluations

All courses will be evaluated using the eXplorance Blue electronic course evaluation (Student Rating of Teaching) tool through the University Survey & Assessment Services (USAS) in the Twin Cities.

Benefits include:

  • An automated process*: no more worrying about whether you requested an evaluation from ITSS.
  • Real-time viewing of response rates through the eXplorance Blue dashboard
  • Easy online access to results of your evaluations: no need to search through your email
  • Increased privacy: these results will be distributed directly to the faculty member, who may choose who else to distribute them to.

eXplorance Blue delivers the results in the same manner as our current process (confidentially, directly to the instructor), but at a great reduction in staff time and expense.

Students enrolled in Completely Online (CO) and Primarily Online (PR) coded courses will be assigned online course evaluation questions. Students enrolled in Independent (ID), In Person Term Based (P), and Partially Online (PA) coded courses will be assigned in-person course evaluation questions (the same as the paper-based evaluation forms). All evaluations will be delivered electronically via eXplorance Blue.

2023-2024 Data Collection Periods

The 2-week data collection period for Fall 2023 16 week term classes:

  • Opens to students at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24 2023.
  • Closes 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.

The 2-week data collection period for Spring 2024 16 week term classes:

  • Opens to students at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 2024.
  • Closes 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 26, 2024.

Before the data collection period begins, instructors can log into eXplorance Blue (with UMD credentials) and see their course list and the version of the evaluation form (online or in person) assigned to each course. Note: we cannot make changes to the assigned form this term.

*Courses Not Automatically Evaluated

The following list of courses are not automatically evaluated using the online course evaluation process. If instructors would like courses in these categories evaluated, they should reach out to their departmental evaluation contact, who can make that request.

  • All thesis credit courses
  • 8666 Doctoral Pre-thesis Credits
  • 8777 Thesis Credits: Masters
  • 888 Thesis Credits: Doctoral
  • xx91 Independent Study
  • xx92 Directed Reading
  • xx93 Directed Study
  • xx94 Research
  • xx96 Field Study
  • xx97 Internship/Externship
  • xx98 Used for Internships
  • Foreign Study courses
  • 4910 Teaching Assistantship sections

Schedule & Student Notifications

Students will receive email from eXplorance Blue on the day data collection opens, in the middle, and shortly before the end. Students can go to the eXplorance Blue dashboard to see all courses currently open for data collection.

All evaluations will end on the last day of class at 11:59 pm. Evaluations shall be conducted during the last 2 weeks of classes for Fall and Spring terms.

Summer courses will be evaluated on the following schedule:

Course LengthData Collection Window
83 days or longerThe last 14 days of instruction
5-82 daysThe last 25% of the class instruction time
4 days or fewerThe last day of instruction

Response Rates

Instructors can view real-time response rates in 2 ways:

  1. View the Response Rate Monitor, or
  2. Go to the Explorance Blue Dashboard, select or click the individual course (when the course evaluation data collection period is open), select or click "Tasks" to view the response rate for the selected course/section.

Strategies for Improving Response Rates

  • Remind students to complete their electronic course evaluation.
  • Engage with students on the importance of course feedback.
  • Log into eXplorance Blue to check response rates.
  • For in-person or remote/synchronous online courses, invite students to bring their mobile devices to the last class, and set aside time during the class period for them to complete their evaluation. It is recommended to designate time at the beginning of the class session rather than the end.
  • Instructors should still leave the classroom while students complete electronic evaluations.
  • In a fully online course, create a "no-point" assignment activity in Canvas with reminder information and a link to eXplorance Blue or direct students to use the Student Rating of Teaching course navigation link in Canvas. This link is enabled during the data collection period.

More resources for improving response rates:

Instructor Notifications and Accessing Course Evaluation Reports

  • Instructors and departmental contacts receive an email when data collection opens.
  • Instructors will be notified via email when reports are available 3 weeks after data collection ends.
  • Instructors are notified via system email when reports are published.
  • Instructors access reports at the eXplorance Blue Dashboard

Instructors can check response rates anytime during the data collection period by going to the eXplorance Blue Dashboard.

More Information

  • For more information, please contact Karen Haedtke at [email protected].
  • For questions or access issues with eXplorance Blue, contact the University of Minnesota Office of Measurement Services at [email protected].