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California State University, Long Beach
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Student Evaluation of Teaching
Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we changing the student evaluation of teaching?
The CSULB Academic Senate approved a new student evaluation of teaching policy (Policy 12-02). The new policy is in effect for Fall 2012. The policy in its entirety can be found on the Academic Senate website.
Will there be a new student evaluation of teaching instrument (form) that students fill out?
Yes. The new policy provides direction for the creation of a new instrument (form). The new instrument is named “Student Perceptions of Teaching” (SPOT).
What are the changes for the new (SPOT) instrument?
Academic Senate Policy 12-02 states:

The instrument for student evaluation of teaching shall include:
  1. A common set of closed-ended items to be used by all faculty members.
  2. A common set of open-ended items to be used by all faculty members.

    The Faculty Personnel Policy Council (FPPC) shall select the common items from nationally recognized, valid, and reliable item pools. The FPPC is responsible for creating instructions for using the instrument, items, and/or item banks. FPPC should review the instrument and the item pool every five years and report review outcomes to the Academic Senate.
What is the new common set of closed-ended items on the SPOT instrument?
  • Class time was used efficiently.
  • Concepts were presented in a manner that helped me learn.
  • Assignments contributed to my learning.
  • The instructor responded respectfully to student questions and viewpoints.
  • The instructor was effective at teaching the subject matter in this course.
  • This instructor communicates well.
  • Graded assignments were returned promptly.
  • The grading criteria for this course were clearly defined.
  • The instructor was available during office hours.
What are the new common open-ended items on the SPOT instrument?
  • What contributed most to your learning in this course?
  • Did anything interfere with your learning in this course? If so, explain.
  • What suggestions or recommendations do you think would help your instructor prepare to teach this course again?
What nationally recognized, valid, and reliable item pool was selected for SPOT development?
The Faculty Personnel Policy Council (FPPC) adopted (reviewed by the Academic Senate) the University of Iowa “Assessing the Classroom Environment” (ACE) item pool.
Where can I learn more about the Iowa Item Pool?
The University of Iowa offers a number of online resources for student evaluations of teaching.
Will colleges, departments, or programs be able to select additional items to include on the SPOT instrument?
The Academic Senate Policy establishes that: Colleges, departments, or programs may select an additional common set of items to evaluate all faculty members in that college, department, or program.

Additional items from the item pool may be added effective Fall 2013. Information about adding items is forthcoming.
Who will have access to the student responses to both the closed and open-ended items?
The course instructor and the department chair. Academic Senate Policy 12-02 states:

The summarized results of closed-ended items and the complete verbatim responses to open-ended questions shall be given to the instructor and the department chair. The department chair shall review the open-ended questions for the primary purpose of formative evaluation. The department chair may discuss areas of concern with the instructor. The department chair may also notify the dean of concerns when the department chair determines it is appropriate to do so. When notified, the dean shall investigate the concerns and take action if necessary.

Access to the summarized results of closed-ended items shall be limited to the faculty member evaluated, and all persons authorized by the faculty member, appropriate personnel committees, and department chair. College deans and directors may have access to these data when required by official University business. The summarized results of closed-ended items will be placed in the faculty personnel files maintained in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs.
Will the data reports be different from previous years?
No, the university will continue to provide course means and standard deviations, department means and standard deviations, and college means and standard deviations.
Will the changes to the Student Evaluations of Teaching Policy impact my RTP review in Fall 2012?
No, the first evaluations will be administered at the conclusion of the Fall 2012 semester and be available to faculty in early 2013. RTP files for 2012/2013 are due on October 4, 2012.
Will the changes to the Student Evaluations of Teaching Policy impact my mini-review in Fall 2012?
Student Evaluations of Teaching from Fall 2012 will be required for inclusion in all mini-reviews, due Feb. 7, 2013.
Will the changes to the Student Evaluations of Teaching Policy impact my lecturer evaluation in 2012-13?
Courses taught and evaluated during Fall 2012 must be included in the lecturer evaluation for 2012/13.
How will evaluators reconcile a file that includes data from Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) and data from the old evaluation instrument?
As before, evaluators should consider summary data, comparative means, and evidence of overall teaching effectiveness.
Will the administration of Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) be any different than in previous years?
Administration procedures will remain the same for 2012 - 2013.
Will Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) be administered to students online?
Not at this time.
What impact does the new Collective Bargaining Agreement have on the student evaluation of teaching process?


The new CFA-CSU agreement modifies the current contract language regarding the student evaluation of teaching. Currently, CSULB Academic Senate policy requires at least two classes per semester. In addition, the old collective bargaining agreement allowed for the possibility of the evaluation of all classes only after consultation resulted in an agreement by the Dean and faculty of a department.


The new agreement now requires the evaluation of all classes unless the President has approved a requirement to evaluate fewer classes after consideration of the recommendations of appropriate faculty committee(s).

After discussions with the CFA, and considering that the campus will be implementing the newly approved senate policy on student evaluations, the President has decided to maintain the current campus practice for the 2012/2013 academic year. This will allow the campus to consider fully the implications for faculty evaluations and to implement this new requirement in a thoughtful manner.