Course Evaluations: Summary for Students

Disclaimer: These resources are developed with Trinity undergraduate courses in mind. While many of these resources are applicable across the platform, different schools manage separate sub-accounts within Watermark. The Office of Assessment manages a joint project with Pratt for undergraduate courses at the 499 level and below. The Office of Assessment is not evaluating courses leveled 500 and above. PLEASE NOTE: Arts & Sciences courses at the 500-level and above are considered graduate courses, and fall under the purview of The Graduate School. 

At the end of each academic term, undergraduate students can complete course evaluations online through Watermark Course Evaluations and Surveys (CES) (duke.evaluationkit.com). Your instructor will explain the process and encourage you to participate. This process covers courses taught in Trinity College departments and programs, the Marine Lab, and Study Abroad (Global Education). If you think a course is missing, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for the department of the missing course. Your feedback is important and contributes to the ongoing improvement of educational programs.

You may want to provide feedback about a course or an instructor outside of the course evaluation process. If you feel comfortable, you may want to reach out to the DUS of the department that owns the course. The DUS can help you understand your experience and provide recommendations and feedback.

If you have more serious concerns about the content of a course or your experiences, remember that Duke’s Office of Institutional Equity has an incident report form for incidents of protected status harassment, discrimination, and related misconduct involving students, faculty, or staff. You may also choose to raise concerns with the Dean of Academic Affairs for Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Martin Smith.

Confidentiality: Any information you submit via the online form is treated confidentially. Data are reported in the aggregate only, and no personally identifying information will be released. Instructors will not see evaluation results until after grades are submitted. Nevertheless, if you share identifiable information about yourself, or are in a very small class, an instructor may be able to identify you.

Improve our Process: If you would like to share feedback or ideas about the course evaluation process, you are welcome to write to the Office of Assessment - Trinity College, at assessment@duke.edu. Thank you for your interest and participation.

Updated October 2021

    If a course evaluation is attached to a class you are enrolled in, you will be able to access the course evaluation form by visiting duke.evaluationkit.com. Throughout the evaluation window, you will receive email notifications of your course(s) eligible for evaluation in the Watermark platform. Use the following steps to complete an evaluation:

    1. Log-in to Watermark Course Evaluations and Surveys (CES) (duke.evaluationkit.com) using your Duke NetID and password. In your Dashboard, you will see your courses eligible for evaluation and their submission status.

    dashboard
     

    2. To begin an evaluation form, click on a course in your Dashboard 

     
    Course evaluation view

    3. When you complete all survey questions, click the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the form. This will prompt a confirmation of your submission.

     
    student survey submit screen

    4. After submitting an evaluation, you will be brought back to your Dashboard, where your course will be updated as 'Completed' with a time stamp of your submission.

    status screen after submitting
     
     
    Please note that the final evaluation form will be reviewed and voted upon by the A&S Council in fall 2021.
     

    Thank you for completing an evaluation. 
     
    Your constructive comments and ratings will be helpful to the faculty for improving this course for future students, helpful to the Duke administration for faculty promotion and awarding teaching-based recognitions, and helpful to other students considering enrolling in this course. 
     
    __ I understand the purpose of course evaluations
     
    The goal of evaluations is to help instructors identify which aspects of the course are most effective and which aspects could be productively changed. Please do your best to focus on the course components and learning environment, and avoid superficial comments that are not relevant to the learning environment (for example, comments about the appearance of the instructors or personal attacks are not helpful or appropriate).
     
    __ I will do my best to be constructive
     
    Prior research has identified biases in course evaluations related to instructor gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, or other aspects of identity. Keep this in mind when reflecting on your course experience, and do your best to minimize the influence of any particular instructor identities on your evaluation.
     
    __ I will do my best to avoid potential biases
     



    Q1.  Your level of engagement with the course was: 
    1-Very low
    2-Low
    3-Medium
    4-High
    5-Very high 

    When answering questions that refer to "learning," please consider the relevant aspects of learning that are specific to this course (for example, acquisition of skills and methodology, retention of course content, new ways of thinking, or anything else that the course offered). 

    Q2.  What knowledge, methods, skills, insights, or ways of thinking did you develop in this course? Please describe three specific things you learned. [Text response]

    Q3.  Reflecting on the overall learning environment of this class, in what ways did the instructors and the structure or components of the course facilitate your learning? Are there specific course components or methods of instruction you’d keep for future years? [Text response]

    Q4.  What might improve the course? Are there specific course components or methods of instruction you’d change for future years? Did anything in particular impede a positive learning environment? [Text response]

    Q5.  The course was intellectually stimulating. It made me think in new ways, encouraged me to adopt different points of view, or challenged me to develop new skills.
    1-Strongly disagree    
    2-Disagree    
    3-Neither agree nor disagree    
    4-Agree    
    5-Strongly agree

     What made this class stimulating or how could it be more intellectually stimulating if it wasn't? [Text response]

    Q6.  Considering all components of the course (lectures, discussions, sections/labs, assessments, projects, course environment, etc), overall the course was:
    1-Poor    
    2-Marginal        
    3-Average          
    4-Very Good      
    5-Excellent

    Q7.  Based on the effectiveness of instruction (clarity, expertise, enthusiasm, rigor, support, inspiration, etc), overall the instructor, [InstructorName], was:
    1-Poor    
    2-Marginal        
    3-Average          
    4-Very Good      
    5-Excellent

      __ Click here if you think your instructor, [InstructorName], should be considered for a teaching award. 

    *Instructor questions repeated when more than one instructor of record.

     


    Questions 8 and 9 if a teaching assistant is evaluated:

    Q8. Based on the effectiveness of instruction (clarity, expertise, enthusiasm, rigor, support, inspiration, etc), overall the teaching assistant, [TAName] was:
    *Question is adapted when more than one TA.

    1-Poor    
    2-Marginal        
    3-Average          
    4-Very Good      
    5-Excellent

    Q9. In what ways did the teaching assistant facilitate your learning and what might have helped even more? Include any constructive comments you’d like to share with the teaching assistant here.  [Text response]   



    Q10.  What would you like to say about this course to a student who is considering taking it in the future?  [Text response]   

    Q11.  The course was difficult. 

    1-Strongly disagree    
    2-Disagree    
    3-Neither agree nor disagree    
    4-Agree    
    5-Strongly agree

    Q12.  How many hours in a typical week did you spend on this course (outside of class meetings)?  Fixed choices, where:
    1 = 1 hour
    2 = 2 hours
    through 10 = 10+ hours      

    Student Accessible Course Evaluation System (SACES) reports are now available in two locations:

    • Student Reporting in Watermark is a search function in the system where students may view available reports. The policy for instructors to share evaluation data now functions by default opt-in.
    • Archived reports in Tableau from the DukeHub course evaluation system (prior to Summer 2021). Members of the Duke community with a valid NetID may access SACES reports to view the course evaluation results for select courses. Access to individual courses is available through the Duke course search. To browse all available Trinity and Pratt course evaluation data follow the link here. Please note that  instructors who chose to opt-out of data sharing in the SACES system will not appear in these tables.
    • For technical assistance logging into Watermark Course Evaluations and Surveys (CES) with netID and password, please contact the OIT Help Desk at 919-684-2200.
    • Please contact the Office of Assessment (assessment@duke.edu) if you have any general questions about the course evaluation process overall.