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SmartEvals is an online-only system, which means that, other than through the use of a computer, smart phone, tablet, or similar computing device, there is no alternative way for students to complete their student evaluation of teaching effectiveness surveys.

The initial SmartEvals cycle consists of five steps.  Once we setup SmartEvals for first use, future semesters will be much simpler to work with.  For example, Step 3, Survey Setup, will not need to be repeated at the university-wide and college levels, unless a decision is made to change any of the university-wide or college level questions.  Faculty, however, will need to add their own questions for each course each semester.  The five initial SmartEvals steps are:

Database Setup

This step is transparent to faculty and is managed by the SmartEvals campus coordinator in collaboration with SmartEvals personnel, ITS and the Registrar’s office.  During this stage, we create a database that consists of three basic components: Student data, course data and course registration data.

Setup of Emails to Faculty and Students

This step is completed by the SmartEvals campus coordinator in collaboration with RIT’s colleges and SmartEvals personnel.  It consists of constructing the emails that faculty and students will get throughout the rating of teaching effectiveness process.  These emails are customized to their intended targets and include an initial email sent out at the beginning of the evaluation period and subsequent reminders to encourage students to complete their evaluations.  Students only get reminders for courses whose surveys they have not completed.  Therefore, when a student completes all his/her surveys, he/she receives no more SmartEvlas reminders. Likewise, faculty also get reminders only for those courses where students have not completed their evaluation survey. The timing and frequency of these emails are built into the process.

Survey Setup

This step completed by RIT’s Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness Office, college representatives, and individual faculty.  Our students know that each course survey will take 10 or fewer minutes to complete.  To meet that goal, our surveys consist of at a maximum of 20 questions per course.  Each survey includes:

  1. Seven university-wide Likert scale items (approved by the Academic Senate, see AACStudentRatingsPresentationPPt_03-21-2013.pdf)
  2. One Yes / No question (approved by the Academic Senate, see AACStudentRatingsPresentationPPt_03-21-2013.pdf)
  3. Two open-ended, free-text questions (approved by the Academic Senate, see AACStudentRatingsPresentationPPt_03-21-2013.pdf)
  4. Up to ten college and faculty-specific questions.  College-specific questions are decided by each college.  Faculty-specific questions are added by each faculty member and, unless the faculty member allows it, no one else will see the results or any summative data derived from these questions. Faculty who wish to provide access to the results of these questions to their supervisors, must do so through the SmartEvals system.  The questions themselves are visible by the supervisor.
Survey Completion

Surveys open for student to complete. By recommendation of the Academic Senate’s Academic Affairs Committee, this will typically be weeks 12-14 of each semester, weeks 11-12 of the summer term.  A customized invitation to complete their surveys is sent to each student by the SmartEvals system.  A customized email is also sent to faculty advising them that course surveys are open.  During the evaluation period, students are reminded via email which specific course surveys they still need to complete. Students that complete all their course evaluations receive no further reminders from SmartEvals. Faculty may also receive email reminders for those courses with less than 100% survey completion.

Results Analysis

SmartEvals provides an extensive set of tools to help faculty view and analyze the results of their surveys.  SmartEvals keeps all your historical data to help you make decisions based on trends and other indicators.


These dates apply to 14-week fall and spring courses, and 12 and 6-week summer courses. Important SRATE dates for all other courses can be programmed in advance by filing a formal request with the SRATE office via email (  These requests must be approved by the academic unit’s associate dean. SRATE survey dates for January Intersession courses will be shared via email.

Fall and spring semesters

SRATE surveys open for students: Each fall and spring terms for approximately three weeks, beginning at 12:01 AM on the Monday three weeks prior to the last day of class listed on the RIT Academic Calendar.  Emails to faculty and students are sent prior to the opening of surveys.

SRATE surveys close: 11:59 PM on the day before final exams begin.

All non-14-week sessions and terms, including summer sessions, excluding January Intersession

SRATE surveys open for students: Each session/term for approximately two weeks, beginning at 12:01 AM on the Monday two weeks prior to the last day of class listed on the RIT Academic Calendar.  Emails to faculty and students are sent prior to the opening of surveys.

SRATE surveys close: 11:59 PM on the last day of class listed on the RIT Academic Calendar.

All sessions and terms, excluding January Intersession
Event Opening Date Closing Date

Faculty can add their own questions to SRATE surveys

Each session/term, after the first week of class 24 hours before SRATE surveys open for students
SRATE results available for faculty, department heads and deans Two days after final grades are due No closing date