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Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness

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SRTE Results Administrator

Academic Unit SRTE Representative


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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I view my results?

All results, including results from paper SRTEs, are available at https://RateTeaching.psu.edu. Penn State authentication is required for access. If you are no longer a Penn State employee, you should contact the SRTE Administrator for the academic unit responsible for offering the courses you taught.

How long does the University keep my SRTEs?

Your results are retained for 10 years in accordance with Policy AD35 University Archives and Records Management and its concurrent General Retention Schedule.

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How do I view multiple years of my results simultaneously?

Plans are underway to develop reports that will visually compare a range of semesters. Until that feature is available, you will need to print the results and compare them manually.

Who has access to my results?

As the instructor of record for a course, you automatically have access to your results. Access is also granted to your academic unit administrators. There may be other administrative personnel from your campus, college, or academic unit who also have access for administrative purposes. SRTE results for faculty who teach World Campus courses are sent to World Campus administrators. World Campus will share these results with the academic administrators in the academic unit that sponsors the faculty member.

How can I tell if SRTEs have been setup for my course?

After the offering period has started, visit https://RateTeaching.psu.edu/ to confirm that all courses you expect to be rated are listed. If a course does not appear on the list, it means that SRTE forms for those courses have not been assigned by staff in your academic unit. Contact that staff member or the SRTE Representative for your campus or college.

How can I monitor my response rates?

After the offering period has started, visit https://RateTeaching.psu.edu/. Your response rate will be displayed along with your course information. Some faculty members have found it useful to show students this page because it demonstrates that the response rate is the only thing you can see until after grades are released to students. You may also want to remind students that their responses are anonymous.

How do students access SRTEs?

Students access their SRTEs directly through the SRTE site at https://rateteaching.psu.edu/.

How do students know when to complete their SRTEs?

The SRTE system generates an email to students to announce the availability of their SRTEs. This message includes instructions on where to complete and how long they are available. Three additional email reminder messages are automatically sent to students who have outstanding forms to complete.

Is there a time limit for completing SRTEs?

For a course that runs the traditional fifteen-week semester, SRTEs are offered the last two weeks of classes. During this period, students may take as much time as needed to complete their SRTEs. They also have the option to start, save, and return to their SRTE in order to complete and submit it prior to the end of the offering period.

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What will motivate students to complete their SRTEs on their own?

Faculty are the most important determinant of student participation. Students are more likely to complete the SRTEs if they know that faculty value their feedback and use it to make improvements in the class. In general, it is good practice for faculty to communicate how they have incorporated past feedback into the course (e.g., included more teamwork, added visual examples, reordered topics).

How can I improve my student response rates?

To get at some of their secrets, we asked faculty with a 70% or greater response rate and at least 30 students in their classes to share advice on getting students to fill out the SRTEs. To read what they said, visit the Faculty Strategies for Encouraging Students to Complete Their SRTE page on the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence's web site.

You may also want to contact one of the Institute's instructional consultants to discuss other strategies for encouraging student feedback.

Will students who do not regularly attend be able to complete SRTEs for the course?

Yes. If the number of students not attending is sufficient to impact your scores; the feedback you get from those who do complete the SRTE may help you understand why they are not attending. Alternatively, students who lack the motivation to attend class are typically not motivated to complete the SRTEs.

Is there a university policy about giving students extra points for completing the SRTEs?

There is no university policy prohibiting faculty from giving extra points if the course achieves a particular SRTE response rate. Students must be able to earn 100% of the course points based on their performance, even if they choose to not participate in SRTEs. As a result, any points associated with SRTEs must be extra credit. However, there is widespread disagreement among the faculty about awarding extra points. Some faculty feel that it makes the SRTEs required rather than voluntary, while others are opposed to offering any points because it could be misinterpreted as asking for high ratings. However, extra credit is an effective incentive for students.

Given pressure to increase response rates, some units are (re)considering whether to give students the opportunity to earn academic extra credit if the response rate reaches a certain point. This approach ensures that any extra credit is based on academic performance, not solely on submitting an SRTE. Faculty should be careful to tell students that they are interested in all ratings and responses, not just positive ones. Faculty should talk to students about why a high response rate is important, i.e., the results are more representative of the whole class if more students participate.

Setting an expected response rate at 100% could make students feel pressure to participate because no student wants to be the sole reason that other students do not get the opportunity for extra points. Consider setting a more reasonable response rate such as 70%.

For other strategies for improving response rates, please visit http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/IncreaseSRTERespRate.

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Why doesn't Penn State require students to participate by holding back their grades?

Penn State's SRTEs were designed by the Faculty Senate to be voluntary. Students receive their grades after the course and the default SRTE offering period have ended. By the time students would realize their grades have been withheld, they would not have an opportunity to change their mind about completing the SRTEs. Grades cannot be held back indefinitely.

Why doesn't Penn State make SRTEs public as an incentive for students to participate?

SRTE results are considered part of faculty members' personnel records so access is restricted.

When will reports be available for my review?

SRTE results are typically available within 5 business days of when all final grades for your course are recorded in LionPath. If all grades cannot be recorded prior to the Final Grade Run date (please see the Registrar's Activity Calendar for each semester's Final Grade Run date), the results will not be available until 5 business days after the Final Grade Run date for that semester. If your results are still not available after you have submitted your grades and/or the Final Grade Run date has passed, please check with your area's SRTE Representative to verify that SRTEs were offered for your course.

Note: The Registrar's Activity Calendar includes a separate Final Grade Run date for the School of Law.

Can I tell which students did or didn't fill out their SRTE?

No. This is an anonymous survey so student information is separated from responses. Faculty report that they are receiving more extensive written feedback than when they used paper surveys. This may be because students are no longer concerned about being identified by their handwriting.

Is there a mobile-friendly version of the SRTE?

Students may choose to submit SRTEs using the mobile-friendly web version for phones and tablets. No app download is necessary, upon sign-in students will see this option when they have active SRTEs to complete. Students may find it convenient to respond to open-ended questions using the voice-recognition built into their mobile devices.

Screen shot of mobile icon from SRTE tool. 
Screen shot of Mobile SRTE icon.

When students choose the mobile option, they will see only one question at a time, rather than the entire SRTE form on their screens.

The regular web version SRTE is still available for students with laptops or without mobile devices.

Faculty will also be able to use the mobile version to check response rates for courses with active SRTEs. Those faculty who are concerned about response rates will be interested in taking advantage of this new functionality by asking students with mobile devices to complete their SRTEs during class.

Faculty: please remember that if you set aside class time for students to complete the SRTE, you need to leave the room.

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