Center for Advancing Teaching Excellence: Course Instructor Surveys (CIS)


Course Evaluation System (CES)

Student Feedback

Moody College values student feedback as one means of assessing teaching. You can gather input from students throughout the semester in a variety of ways. We strongly recommend conducting a mid-semester feedback survey in addition to the end-of-semester Course Evaluation System (CES).


Mid-Semester Feedback

Getting feedback during the semester helps you understand students’ experience and needs and make adjustment that can impact their learning and engagement. CATE has created a mid-semester feedback survey that you can import into your Canvas course, if you wish, to make the collection process easier. Feel free to edit, add or remove questions to make the survey most helpful for you. Details on how to do this, as well as an importable file, are available for you to download.


New Course Evaluation System

UT launched a new Course Evaluation System in Fall 2022. The main platform improvements include a better mobile phone user interface and downloading features to analyze survey results. It also enables Faculty to personalize questions, adding up to three additional enquiries.

The new CES system is also integrated with Canvas, which includes a “Course Evaluation” button in the left navigation panel of each course page. Under this tab, instructors will be able to track students’ response rate live while the survey is active by checking the “Subject Management” task available there. Canvas will automatically send a message to students with a link when the survey is open.

The new CES also generates a unique QR code and URL that takes the students directly to your survey rather than forcing them to navigate through their dashboard. To generate a QR code or URL, click the three dots at the lower right of the box on Canvas.

Read more about the new Course Evaluation System.

Click here to access the new Course Evaluation System.

More information on the email

Improving CES Return Rate

The utility of your Course Evaluation System (CES) results depends on a robust return rate. Below are some recommendations to help boost your CES return rates

The following practices are grounded in research and focus on actions instructors can take without changes to administrative systems, procedures or policies.

  • Share this short video about giving meaningful feedback with students.
  • Explicitly and repeatedly tell students you value their input.
    • Add a statement in your syllabus.
    • Discuss it in your course introduction.
    • Remind students as the end of the course approaches.
  • Demonstrate that you value student input throughout your course.
    • Poll students to get input on their preferences and needs.
    • Conduct a mid-semester evaluation.
    • Use student feedback to make adjustments in the course.
  • Tell students that their feedback on the CES is important because it is used to evaluate your teaching and you use student input to improve your teaching. Provide examples of changes you have made based on student feedback.
  • You can get more tips in the Response Rate Guide. Click here to download.

For face-to-face courses and synchronous online courses:

  • Let students know in advance when you plan to administer the CES and remind them to bring a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Allow class time for students to complete the mobile-adaptive CES. The instructor should not be present when the CES is being administered. In Zoom, you can make someone else the host and exit the meeting.

For asynchronous online courses:

  • Let students know the time window when the CES will be open before it opens.
  • Send a reminder when the CES window opens.
  • Send a “last chance” notice just before the CIS window closes.
  • Include a link to the CES in your Canvas course and in your reminder messages.


Research shows that extra credit is one of the most successful strategies for boosting course evaluation response rates. A point-based micro-incentive worth ≤ 0.5% of the overall course grade can be effective in boosting course evaluation return rates.

  • You can require students to submit a screenshot of the CES completion confirmation screen as evidence that they completed the survey. This does not reveal any of their responses.
  • A class-wide incentive giving extra points to the whole class if a high threshold response rate (e.g., 70%) is achieved can be as effective as individual incentives and is simpler to administer.
  • If you offer point-based incentives, it should be only one of multiple ways to earn extra credit. Students should be able to earn all available extra credit through other means. For example, you could add a bonus question available to everyone to a final assignment or test if the course evaluation return rate meets a given threshold.