OIRA Policy for Submission of Student Rating Forms

In order to preserve the confidentiality of students’ responses, student rating forms for each class must be submitted in a sealed and signed envelope. Someone other than the instructor (e.g., a student volunteer from each class, a GA not affiliated with the class, a staff member) must be designated to:

  • collect the completed forms in the class
  • place the forms in an envelope
  • securely seal the envelope by either:
    • moistening and firmly adhering the entire flap
    • securing the entire flap with tape or glue (NO staples)
  • sign their name diagonally across the sealed flap (NOTE: if sealed with tape, the signature must be placed diagonally across the top of the tape so that the signature crosses over the top and bottom of the seal). To view the proper placement of the signature, click here.

Only the designated person’s signature should be placed across the sealed flap. Once sealed and signed, the envelope must not be opened or tampered with in any way. Additional completed student forms turned in after the envelope for that class has been sealed and signed will not be processed.

Student rating forms in envelopes that are not properly sealed OR signed will be processed, however, the result tables for such classes will include a footnote stating, “Integrity of the data cannot be verified.”

Important Information for Students

Since it is OIRA’s policy to never alter a completed student rating form, please stress the importance of the following information to students before they complete the forms.

Use of #2 pencil and the importance of complete erasures

Although our optical scanner is able to read responses when completed in pencil or blue or black ink, in order to return the most accurate results possible we strongly suggest that forms be completed using a #2 pencil. Complete erasure of ink is difficult when a response is changed.

In order for the scanner to accurately record responses, only one circle must be darkened for each question. It is imperative that changed responses and stray marks be completely erased. Crossing out a response and darkening another or darkening more than one response for a question will cause the scanner to drop the question and neither response will be recorded. Students should have the option of requesting and properly filling out a new form, should their original form become compromised through cross-outs or stray marks.

To optimize responses students should:

  • use a #2 pencil to darken response choices
  • darken only one response choice per question
  • completely erase (do not cross out) changed responses
  • completely erase all stray marks on the form
  • if ink is the only option available, use ONLY blue or black ball point pens (no felt tips)

Understanding rating scales on forms

Since students complete a variety of different student rating forms, be sure that students clearly understand the rating scales on your forms. It is particularly imperative that students realize the meaning attached to the lowest number and highest number on your rating scales.

Submitting Student Rating Forms for Processing

We suggest that envelopes be delivered to OIRA in person. If sent via campus mail, all submission procedures outlined here must be followed or the student forms cannot be processed. The contact person will be called to address the concerns.

Suggestions for Distribution of Blank Forms, and Collection of Completed Forms

Procedures for the distribution of blank student rating forms to classes and for the collection of the completed forms are unique to each school, college, department or individual faculty member. Incorporating the following suggestions into those procedures will ensure the greatest accuracy when processing the results.

  • It is strongly suggested that each envelope with blank student rating forms be clearly labeled as follows before being distributed to classes:
    • Professor last name, first name
    • Course Prefix
    • Course Number
    • Section
    • Semester, Year
    • Type of student rating form (i.e., questionnaires for Course, TA, Lab, etc.)
  • When blank forms are distributed to classes, a labeled envelope for each type of student rating form used should be available.
  • When collecting completed student forms, before sealing and signing the envelope the designated person should ensure that:
    • there is only one type of form in the envelope
    • the type of form in the envelope matches the type of form on the envelope label

Preparation of Envelopes for Processing

The sealed and signed envelopes for each type of student rating form used must be grouped together. Each group must be organized as follows and submitted to OIRA separately for processing. To print a checklist to follow when preparing student rating forms for processing, click here.

For each type of student rating form:

  • Organize all envelopes alphabetically in ascending order by:
    • Professor last name, first name
    • Course Prefix
    • Course Number
    • Section
    • Semester and year
  • Put envelopes in a box(es) clearly labeled with:
    • the school/college, department, or faculty member’s name
    • the contact person’s name and phone number
    • “Box 1 of …”, “Box 2 of …”, etc.
  • See the Other Processing Instructions section below for instructions on how to request combined result reports for more than one class.

Header Sheets

Each envelope must have a corresponding header sheet. If header sheets are not completed, organized, arranged or submitted correctly, the student forms cannot be processed. The contact person will be called to address the concerns.

Completing Header Sheets

There are two methods for completing header sheets: pre-printing at OIRA and completing by hand at the school/college or department level. It is acceptable to combine pre-printed and manually completed headers when submitting jobs for processing.

Pre-printed header sheets

OIRA offers the option to pre-print orders of 20 or more header sheets, thus eliminating the need to manually bubble in information. Orders must be placed each semester. Click here for the information necessary to place an order. Please call 443-8700 for more information.

Completing header sheets by hand

Complete one FIESTA PINK Full-sized Scantron form for each envelope submitted as follows:

In the “Name” section

In Columns:

Write in and darken the corresponding bubble for:

1 – 18 Professor Name
19 – 21 Course Prefix

In the “Student Number” section

In Columns:

Write in and darken the corresponding bubble for:

A-C Course Number
G-I Section Number

In the “Additional Coded Data” section

In Columns:

Write in and darken the corresponding bubble for:

A-C Total Course Enrollment Number (optional)
J always darken the number ‘1’

Preparation of Header Sheets for Processing

Header sheets must be organized and submitted to OIRA as follows.

For each type of student rating form:

  • There must be one header sheet for each envelope submitted.
  • Headers must be organized alphabetically in the same order as the envelopes.
  • Headers must be arranged face-up with timing marks
    ( | | | | | | ) matched at the edges.
  • If custom headers are printed in advance by OIRA, remove the header sheets for classes that do not have forms submitted for processing.
  • Place headers in a separate envelope labeled as “Headers,” and write the total number of header sheets included on the envelope.
  • Submit the “Headers” envelope in the box along with the sealed/signed student envelopes.

Reconciliation List and Disclaimer Form

A reconciliation list and disclaimer form must be submitted at the same time the envelopes are delivered to OIRA. The student forms cannot be processed until both are received.

For each type of student rating form used, a comprehensive reconciliation list of the information for all classes submitted must be included (see example below). The list is used to resolve coding errors on the header sheets. Proof the list carefully as it is considered the default should discrepancies arise.

Additionally, one disclaimer form, signed by the person responsible for preparing the envelopes and headers for processing, must be attached to each reconciliation list. To print a copy of the disclaimer form, click here.

Preparation of Reconciliation List

  • The list must be organized alphabetically (i.e., in the same order as the envelopes.
  • The list must indicate the department name, contact name and phone number and the number of envelopes submitted in the upper left corner of the page.
  • The number of lines on the list must match the number of headers and envelopes submitted.

Reconciliation List Example:
Date: December 21, 2010
Department/School/College: Public Communications
Department Contact/Phone: Mary Smith, x1234
Total number of groups listed: 18

Professor Name

Course Prefix

Course Number

Section

Enrollment

Adams ABC 456 002 10
Allen J GHI 477 001 30
Allen J GHI 756 001 40
Allen K GHI 204 001 50
Allen K GHI 204 004 55
Arthur KLM 447 004 70
Baker KLM 447 000 80
Barrett ABC 356 001 15
Barrett PQR 611 001 90
Bennett DEF 745 001 35
Bennett STU 701 001 25
Bishop HRM 355 003 45
Brown GHI 365 002 55
Carter PQR 638 001 75
Carter PQR 638 002 75
Clark KLM 346 001 12
Clark KLM 600 001 95
Cole VWX 262 001 22

 

Other Processing Instructions

Following are instructions for special situations that may arise when preparing student rating forms for processing.

To Request Combined Result Reports for Cross-Listed Classes or Multiple Sections

  • Prepare all envelopes, header sheets and the reconciliation listing as described above.
  • Submit a memo stating which class results should be combined. On the memo:
    • number each individual request for combined reports
    • list the professor last name, first name, course prefix, course number, section, and enrollment information for each class in each numbered request
    • state if individual reports should still be produced for each class in each request

Submitting Additional Completed Student Rating Forms

Once the envelope for a class is sealed and signed, absolutely no additional completed student forms for that class will be accepted for processing.

Occasionally, envelopes containing forms for an entire class are turned in to offices after envelopes for other classes have already been submitted to OIRA for processing. Please call 443-8700 for instructions on how to submit such envelopes for processing.

 

Fees

The printing and processing of student rating forms is provided free of charge to Syracuse University schools/colleges, departments, and individual faculty members when related to the assessment of SU courses.

 

More Information

If you would like more information, please contact OIRA at 443-8700.