Online Evaluations of Faculty- FAQ for Students

What is the evaluation period? When do surveys open and close?

For Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters the surveys open Sunday before the last week of classes and close Friday (the last day of classes) at 11:59 pm. During summer, the evaluations periods are shortened to 4 days and occur before the finals exam. Please reference the table below. 

  Fall 2020 winter 2021 Spring 2021
Open 11/17/2020 03/07/2021 05/30/2021
Student Reminders 11/17,19,22,24/2020 03/07,09,11,12/2021 5/30, 06/01,03,04/2021
Close 11/24/2020 03/12/2021 06/04/2021

Summer Quarter


1st 5 Week

8 Week

2nd 5 Week

10 Week

Quarter Plus

Student Reminders          

Fall Intersession

(ending --)

fall intersession

(Ending --)

Student Reminders    


What is the deadline to fill out evaluations?

The deadline for each quarter will be stated in the email communication from and displayed on the Course Evaluations portlet (see below).

When course evaluations are administered, how will I be notified?

On the opening Sunday, you will receive an email notification from letting you know the surveys are available on the homepage of your My Cal Poly Portal under the Course Evaluations portlet.

Why do evaluations close before finals? Is there a reason it can’t be after or during finals week? How was the timeline for running the evaluations established?

The decision of course evaluations rests with the faculty. The timeline for online course evaluations was discussed, voted on, and established through the Academic Senate. The faculty decided that they wanted to run the evaluations as close to the end of the term as possible, but prior to final exam week. It is similar to the timeline that had been used for many years when evaluations were conducted via scantron paper forms distributed in class.

I missed the deadline to fill out the evaluation, can I fill it out now?

No, online evaluations must be completed during the survey period.

How many reminders will I receive?

Generic reminder emails will be sent on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the evaluation period. Only students who have not completed all of their course evaluations will receive reminders asking them to complete their remaining course evaluations. You will not receive reminders once you have completed all of your course evaluations.

Do I have to complete all my evaluations at once?

No, you may complete evaluations at your own pace as long as they are submitted before the deadline. You may complete and submit the survey the first time you view it, or you may stop prior to submission and complete it later by using the “save temporarily” button before exiting the survey.

Am I required to fill out the evaluation? Are these evaluations mandatory?

No, but they are strongly encouraged to help provide feedback to the instructor and department.

Are there any penalties/consequences for not completing the online course evaluations?

There are no penalties and consequences because course evaluations are not mandatory.

If made a mistake filling out the evaluation, can I correct it or take it back?

Examples include filling out the survey for the wrong instructor or class, submitting survey before I was finished, etc. It is not possible to change, retract or redo your evaluation once it has been submitted online. Anonymity makes it impossible to identify which responses a specific student provided. However, if you filled out a survey for the wrong instructor or class and provided a unique qualitative comment (e.g., mentioned the wrong instructor’s name or described a specific situation), then we may be able to find and delete your set of responses. We recommend you contact the instructor’s department if you feel the evaluation will impact them in a negative way.

What type of questions will be asked?

Both qualitative and quantitative questions are included on each evaluation.

Why is my class not being evaluated? Why aren't all of my courses being evaluated?

Independent study courses and courses with an enrollment of less than five students are not evaluated.

Several of my courses have more than one instructor. Do I complete a separate evaluation for each one?

Yes, each instructor teaching a course should be evaluated separately.

Why am I still receiving course evaluations for classes I withdrew from?

If you withdrew after the census date which is the end of the 3rd week of instruction, then you are still given the opportunity to evaluate the instructor and provide feedback.

What if a course is listed that I am not enrolled in?

If you believe you received a survey in error, please contact

How will my evaluation be used? How will I benefit from spending my time completing evaluations? Who are the evaluations for?

The feedback will be used by the instructor to improve their teaching. The evaluations are also used in the review process and provide the department with information regarding the instructor’s performance. The campus continually seeks ways to hear student voices that will inform what happens in our classrooms. Course evaluations are one way for you to drive your own learning experience.

Is there a way to be sent a confirmation email that I completed a specific survey?

We do not provide confirmation emails. You may determine you have completed a specific survey because the link for that course will no longer appear as an option in your Course Evaluations portlet. Also, after you complete your next survey, you will be redirected to a page containing a complete list of surveys assigned to you including your remaining surveys with “participate now” links and your completed surveys with checkmarks.

Once I complete one survey, how do I continue to my remaining surveys?

After you submit a survey, the page below will display and you can select “Participate now” to take another. Please note, the checkmarks indicate completed surveys. You may also navigate back to the My Cal Poly Portal homepage and open your incomplete surveys from the Course Evaluations portlet.

My Course Evaluations portlet says, “No online surveys found.”- What does this mean? How do I know I have completed all of my course evaluations?

“No online surveys found” on the portlet means you have either completed all of your course evaluations or none of your courses are being evaluated at this time.

Can I fill out my evaluations during the class I am evaluating?

There is no restriction on when or where you fill out the evaluations. Some instructors may request that you wait until after a certain event in class has happened, but that is only a request and students are not obligated to wait.

Will my instructors be able to link the evaluation back to me?

The evaluations are confidential. The system disassociates the information that identifies the student at the time the evaluation is completed. Reports are generated from aggregated data that contains no individual student data. Keep in mind, if you provide detailed comments that describes a situation the instructor associates with you, then, although the your name is not provided they may be able to make the connection.

Will my instructor be able to read my comments?

Yes, instructors receive a course report that aggregates all student comments into an anonymous list for each qualitative question asked. Since evaluations are confidential, your name is not tied to the comments you provide. They do not receive access to this data until after grades are submitted.

When will my instructor receive the evaluation results?

Evaluations are distributed after grades are due.

Who do I contact with questions and technical problems accessing the online evaluations?

Please send an email to



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