New student survey system for DU Students

Alicia Dye | News Editor | SPOT surveys are located on Canvas alongside other class materials.

Alicia Dye | News Editor

Oct. 20, 2022

Duquesne University has adopted a new student survey system, replacing the old Student Evaluation Survey (SES) for Student Perception of Teaching (SPOT), which was formally launched this fall.

SPOT is an online survey that students fill out at the end of the semester, which examines teaching according to four domains: instructional design, instructional delivery, attitudes toward student learning and faculty availability. The survey is used in face-to-face, hybrid and online courses, but not clinical courses which use a different evaluation of teaching.

The overhaul of SES started in 2021, when the office of Academic Affairs announced it in an email to students.

“In keeping with the 2018-23 Strategic Plan, the Office of the Provost has initiated a total overhaul of the current Student Evaluation Survey (SES) to support teaching excellence at the university,” the email said. “The revised SES is intended to provide an improved student experience for learners and survey users, and to return useful data to guide instructors, deans and administrators in faculty development and improving course delivery. This includes improving the design, interface, functionality and policies/procedures concerning the SES.”

Students who previously used SES are excited about the change.

“SES was really long, and I hated filling it out,” said Junior Alexandra Chomenko. “I’m hoping the new system is shorter and easier to fill out than it was before.”

The SPOT system has nine scaled questions, with the scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, with a not applicable option available as well. The SPOT survey also has two open-ended response questions, which focus on the instructor’s teachings and if the teaching helped the student or not. All responses stay anonymous, something that carries over from SES.

The old SES system had 25 scaled questions according to the university’s website, along with open-ended questions that were at the end of the SES survey.

The new SPOT system will allow instructors to access the report on Canvas and they will be able to see the response rate on Canvas as well. SPOT will also allow different schools, departments, and/or faculty members to add questions to the SPOT survey.

Similarly to SES, SPOT will be administered online and will be filled out by students before finals start. Instructors will be able to see their report after final exams. Students will also be sent reminders about the SPOT survey when the window is open.

SPOT will officially open at the end of the semester, and students will be able to use it then.