Course Evaluations and Survey Tool FAQ

  • What is CES? CES is a course evaluation platform from Watermark. The evaluation portion of the platform is called "Course Evaluations and Surveys" and we shorten that to CES on our campus.
  • How can I share my thoughts about the CES with the university? This CES comment form can be used to share anonymous comments or to ask questions that you want to have answered via email.
  • Why did Wichita State switch from SPTEs to CES? SPTEs are programmed with FORTRAN and cannot be updated. CES allows us to adjust to new questions, offer new report layouts, and it is also compatible with Blackboard, WSU's Learning Management System.
  • What are the benefits of CES? There are many benefits to using a modern course evaluation tool, including:
    • Evaluations can be integrated into Blackboard.
    • CES is easy for faculty and students to use.
    • Results can be accessed online. Paper results are no longer necessary.
    • Previous semesters' CES results can be accessed in the platform.
    • Instructors will have access to training and a dedicated website that will provide additional details about the platform and the changes made with course evaluation procedures. Both are in the development phase.
    • Response rates are likely to increase from those received with the electronic versions of the SPTEs.
  • What are the notable changes between SPTEs and CES?
    • The CES platform requires instructors to delete courses they do not want evaluated.  With SPTEs, evaluation was "opt-in" and with CES, evaluation is "opt-out."
    • Evaluation requests will need to adhere to the specified deadlines. Late requests cannot be accepted.
    • CES results will only be available at the end of the complete semester. This keeps Wichita State in compliance with KBOR policy regarding the use of a norm-based instrument.
    • Prior SPTE results will not be integrated or accessible in the new platform.
  • Will in-person course evaluations still be offered?  No. All CES course evaluations will be handled electronically.
  • When will CES be used for annual FAR, T&P, and post-tenure review?  CES will be officially used in the Fall of 2023, and this use will fulfill requirements set by KBOR policies and university review policies.
  • Can SPTEs still be administered in the Fall 2023 semester and beyond? No. SPTEs fully retired after the Summer 2023 semester.
  • What are the questions on the CES?

    Below are the WSU Main Course Evaluation questions sent to students.  They are a core set of questions that will be sent to all courses that do not opt-out of CES.  You can also locate the questions while you are in Manage Courses on the CES Instructor Dashboard.  You can click on the semester's project, and then click on "Preview" to view the questions.

    The scale for these questions is Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Undecided, Agree, Strongly Agree.

    Please respond to the following statements about the course.
    1.  Course materials prepared me for graded assignments.
    2.  Organized in a way that helped me learn.

    Please respond to the following statements about [Instructor Name].
    1.  Conducted the course in a well-planned manner.
    2.  Provided useful feedback on my coursework.
    3.  Supported my efforts to succeed.

    Open-ended Questions.
    1.  In what way(s) did [Instructor Name] support or not support your efforts?
    2.  Is there anything else you would like to share about the course?

  • Is CES mobile friendly? Yes. The instrument can be used with cell phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
  • Will my TA with indirect teaching be evaluated using this tool? No. CES will only be set up to evaluate instructors with direct teaching roles.
  • How are team taught courses handled when one instructor wants to use CES and the other wants to opt-out? If the course is team taught, the CES evaluation will be sent to students with all instructors listed. If one instructor opts-out of CES then the course is deleted from the system and no evaluation will be sent to the students. 
  • Where do I find CES? You can access CES anytime in Blackboard by choosing "Tools" from the main menu and then choosing "CES." It is found on the Institution Page not on a course page which also has a tools option.
  • Why doesn't the Response Rate Tracker on my CES Instructor Dashboard show data? Once the semester's course evaluation project has started, the Response Rate Tracker will appear on your instructor dashboard. Data will be updated for each instructor according to when their section is open to students.
  • Why does the Response Rate Tracker state, "No Project Found"? If you do not have a course in the current semester's project, it will show this statement.
  • How can I find the Main Course Evaluation Questions that are sent to students? While you are in "Manage Courses," you can click on the semester's project, and then click on "Preview" to view the questions.
  • Why doesn't the Manage Courses Box appear on the Instructor Dashboard? It will only appear when the "Manage Courses" option is available according to your course(s) part-of-term.
  • How is norming handled in CES? CES provides normed data that reflects the university and the college division for the semester represented in the report. Norms reset each semester.
  • How will I find information about CES? Direct CES information will be sent via emails through the platform, and additional communication will be posted in WSU Today, on the OIR Facebook page, and through emails. 
  • Is CES training/help available through WSU? Yes. Instructors can access CES training on the WSU website.
  • How do I use the CES Instructor Dashboard? You access the CES instructor dashboard through Blackboard, or alternatively, you can access the CES instructor dashboard directly from the links provided in the email you receive. Dashboard training is available online.
  • How will I know about CES timelines and procedures? You will receive information directly from the CES platform at regular times throughout the term. Additional information will be posted in WSU Today, the OIR Facebook page, and other emails. 
  • Are there set dates and times for CES use? Yes. The CES Administrator programs assigned dates for each of the processes in CES. These dates will follow that pre-determined schedule, and they cannot be modified for individual instructors. The CES will be sent out at 12:00 am on the scheduled start date, and it will end at 11:59 pm on the scheduled end date.
  • What are the approved set dates for the CES process? Instructors have 10 days from notification of the opt-out window to opt-out of CES for the term or part-of-term. CES will be open for students for varying lengths, depending upon the length of the course term:
    • 1 and 2 week courses: 2 days
    • 5 week to 16 week courses: 10 days
    • Summer 4 week to 11 week courses: 7 days
  • How do I know which of my courses will be evaluated? Most, but not all, courses will be evaluated using CES unless the instructor opts out of the process. Instructors will opt out by going to the CES platform through the Instructor's Dashboard. From there, instructors have the ability to delete courses that they do not want to have evaluated. It is possible that not all courses will appear at the same time in Manage Courses.  CES operates on the part-of-term the course falls under.
  • If I do not want course evaluations this semester, do I still need to complete the course selection process? Yes. You will need to go to the Instructor Dashboard and delete all your courses listed there. Once a course is deleted, the students enrolled in that course will not be prompted to submit an evaluation. If instructors choose not to delete courses from their Instructor Dashboard, the system will automatically send evaluations to all enrolled students.
  • If I want course evaluations, do I need to pay attention to the Manage Courses email?  It is suggested that you do log in to the CES Instructor Dashboard to make sure the courses you expect to be there do appear.
  • What courses are not eligible for the CES Main Evaluation? Courses that are appointment-based (eg: Directed Readings, etc.), research (eg: thesis hours), COOP, Intensive English, and weekend-only courses are not available for the CES Main Evaluation and will not appear in the Instructor Dashboard.
  • What is the CES Main Evaluation? It is a core set of questions that will be sent to all courses that do not opt-out of CES.
  • How do my students access the evaluation? Students can access the evaluation through Blackboard and through links provided in an email sent during the CES collection window.
  • What will students see when they log in to the CES system to complete an evaluation? Students will see a table that displays the completion status of an evaluation, including the date and time.  The table will also show what evaluations are available to complete.  In addition, students will see regular pop-up notifications in Blackboard during the CES evaluation time window.
  • If a student submits an evaluation, can they retrieve it later? No. Evaluations cannot be retrieved or edited after submission.
  • If I give extra credit for completion of the CES and a student forgets to provide proof, can the CES Administrator provide that proof? No.
  • When will my CES results be available to me? Results will only be available at the end of the completed semester, no matter the part-of-term your course used. Holding results until the end of the semester complies with KBOR policy and allows for accurate norming. Results will become available the Friday after grades are due. Results can be accessed through the Instructor Dashboard under Project Results.
  • Will my CES results be in paper form, or sent to me electronically? The results will no longer be available in paper form. The only way to access CES results will be through the Instructor Dashboard. This is an example of a sample report with comments.
  • Which of the reports am I supposed to submit for my T&P packet? The Faculty Evaluation Alignment Committee suggests using the "Detailed Report With Comments."
  • Who will have access to my results? Only you have access to your results. If you need to share your results, you will need to send them to the appropriate individuals.
  • Are there restrictions on results? Yes. There will be no results when the response rate is 0%, or if the number of respondents is lower than 4.
  • Will it be stated somewhere that I did not have results for a particular semester?  Yes.  It will state it in the Project Results Box when you check the current semester’s results.  If you want to check on previous semesters, you will need to start in the Instructor Dashboard in CES.  Click on the Results Tab on the CES Menu Bar.  Select Project Results.  A table will appear that will show the semester evaluations that you participated in.  Locate the one you need.  Click on the View icon.  It will let you know if you do or do not have results.
  • Will there be any benchmarks noted on the results? Yes. Results will include the mean, standard deviation, and median by university and by division. This benchmark data will be from the same semester as the evaluation and not include any other data.
  • Will I have access to the raw data? Yes. The raw data will be accessible from the results area in CES.
  • Will I be able to see results from an individual student? No. Evaluation results are anonymized in the platform. Even though you can see who has and hasn't submitted an evaluation, you can never track the results back to an individual student.
  • Will I have access to prior semester CES results? Yes. The semesters in which you participated in CES will show the semester’s project name under Project Results.  You can click on the link to retrieve those results.  If a semester is missing from the Project Results, either you did not participate that semester or there were no course results due to the result restrictions.
  • Do CES reports indicate how long students took to complete the survey? No.
  • Are there validity items (items added to measure attention) on the CES? No.
  • Who do I talk to if I have a question about CES?