- How is my privacy protected?
- Who can see what results?
- Can I be required to take a survey? Can I be rewarded?
- What is CIOS and why should I participate?
- How many of these email reminders will I continue to receive?
- How do I log in?
- How do I complete a survey?
- Why does the survey look different?
- Can I write as much as I want in the comment box?
- Do I have to answer each question on the survey?
- What if there is more than one instructor for a course?
- What is TAOS and how is it different from CIOS?
- Who can I contact about additional questions or suggestions or technical trouble?
The CIOS and TAOS surveys are anonymous. The Office of Academic Effectiveness takes student privacy seriously and does not see which responses come from each student. Who you are and how you responded are recorded in separate reports, and no instructor, administrator, or even Office of Academic Effectiveness staff members have access to a report that would identify who said what, as no such report exists.
All of the data required to record the information used for the CIOS and TAOS are stored by the vendor, SmartEvals, hosted by Gap Technologies,Inc; who administers the survey. SmartEvals also takes measures toward privacy protection:
“Your privacy is important to us. To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
GAP’s main datacenter, located in Cheektowaga, NY, is SSAE 16 SOC-2 Type II compliant. Our Texas colocation is SSAE 16 SOC-1 Type II compliant.
GAP’s datacenter and security systems were developed with the help of a customer advisory board comprised of representatives from two universities and a CIO from private industry. The board developed a specific datacenter and security protocol based on ISO Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. The SmartEvals system has since successfully undergone in-depth security audits by two well-known universities, and an independent service auditor.
Obviously, another portion of the program needs to record the responses selected and the comments made in the survey, but this portion of the program does not need to know who gave these responses/comments. This information makes up our survey results tables, in which your answers and comments are recorded. Each answer or comment is associated with the class/instructor about which the answer or comment was made, but no student IDs are recorded.
2. Who can see what results?
Please address comments directly to your instructors. Comments for your regular instructors are shared only with those instructors (not with school chairs or other administrators, as they see the numerical results only), while comments for your TAs are shared with both the TA and their supervising instructor.
|Reporting access by role||CIOS Numerical Results||CIOS Comments||TAOS Numerical Results||TAOS Comments|
|Regular Instructor||Own||Own||All within own course||All within own course|
|TA Supervisor||N/A||N/A||All within own course||All within own course|
|Department Head||All within own unit||None||All within own unit||All within own unit|
A student may not be coerced in any way to take the survey. The survey’s integrity relies on voluntary responses. So, while instructors are allowed to give incentives and rewards for survey completion, they should not ask for proof of completion. Instructors can login to the system to monitor current overall completion rates through Digital Measures, but they do not see whether individual students have completed the survey.
Thus, all incentives or rewards must be given to the class as a whole, regardless of whether or not individual students complete the survey.
If you feel you are being forced to take the survey, or forced to individually identify yourself as having taken the survey, then you should contact the Office of Academic Effectiveness so that we can communicate with your instructor and/or the appropriate administrative personnel.
The Course-Instructor Opinion Survey is a tool that we use to provide feedback for instructors, administrators, and, most importantly, students. Opinion surveys are important tools for institutions of higher learning, as:
- Instructors use the survey information to help improve teaching and learning in their courses
- Administrators use the survey information for teaching assignments, to support other decisions regarding teaching and learning at GT, and as part of promotion and tenure decisions
- Students use the survey to voice their opinion about the efficacy of courses or instructors and use that compiled survey information to view ratings of instructors in past terms when making decisions for registration, etc.
For more information about CIOS, please visit the Main Page.
For more information about why you should complete your surveys, please see this brief presentation.
If you are feeling as though you have been filling out there surveys for years without seeing results, please first note that change is sometimes slow. However, the only way you can expect a faculty member to change is to give feedback, so please continue to fill out your surveys. Further, many faculty, but not all, do regularly make changes based upon their CIOS results, and these surveys are used for more than just an opportunity for students to voice their opinion; you and your fellow students can access survey results for selected courses when planning for registration via the SGA Course Critique website, and CIOS makes a difference when administrators are making teaching assignments and promotion or tenure decisions. Such decisions and why they are made may not always be made known to students, but they do happen and your input has direct influence on that process.
SmartEvals, the vendor that administers our CIOS and TAOS, automatically sends out emails at the opening of the survey period, and every 2-4 days thereafter depending upon survey length. If you have courses that fall under different survey periods, you may receive emails regarding each survey period. You will stop receiving these emails once you have completed all of your surveys. To check whether you have completed all of your surveys, simply login to SmartEvals and look on the main page; it will either display surveys you need to complete or note that you have completed all of your surveys for this survey period.
The student login page may be accessed through the following link: http://gatech.smartevals.com Your login and password is your GT account and password. This is the same login and password used for Mail, T-square, and other GT services.
You would first need to log in. The survey contains several multiple-choice questions, for which you select the appropriate radio button, and several free-form, open ended questions. Additionally, there are spaces for comments after each survey section and the course as a whole if you like. All questions and comments are optional. Once you have completed a survey, click the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the page. This will process and transmit your survey.
If you have additional surveys that need to be completed, you will be asked to do them at this point. Back to Top
If you are familiar with the old CIOS system, then you may have noticed that the CIOS runs through a different system now and has some small differences in functionality. The main purposes for this change were to increase the usefulness of your feedback for both instructors and administrators, to improve the user interface, to allow for flexibility for when we implement a survey period and how many different survey periods we could implement, and so that we could implement a coordinating TAOS for teaching assistants.
For more information about the history of CIOS visit the History Page.
The new system we’ve implemented as of the Summer of 2014 includes an improved user interface that allows for unlimited characters within the comment boxes. If you are familiar with the old CIOS system, then you may recall that at one time CIOS comments were limited to a set character limit per comment box. Now, however, you may say as much or as little as you like. As before, comments are completely optional.
If you do choose to comment, be sure you put the comments in the appropriate boxes. The comments are for you to tell the instructor your direct opinion. Instructors can see the comments you provide concerning the course, instructor, and overall. Administrators (department chairs, deans, etc.) will only see numerical responses. The Office of Academic Effectiveness personnel can read the regular comments you provide concerning the course, instructor(s), and overall.
No. Just as with the comments section, the questions are all optional, so you can skip questions or select N/A, whichever you prefer. However, you must click the submit button for your responses to be stored in the system.
With the current system, you will have only one survey per course, but in multiple instructor courses, you will have separate questions for each instructor of that course within that one survey. As with any other questions or comments, questions concerning any or all instructors for a course are completely optional.
TAOS is the Teaching Assistant Opinion Survey (TAOS) and is an instrument designed specifically to collect data related to student perceptions of Teaching Assistants at Georgia Tech. The TAOS survey questions about TAs are somewhat comparable to the CIOS survey questions about regular instructors. Each instructor and TA has their own section of the survey. We implemented TAOS so that students could provide feedback to the departments and the Institute about Teaching Assistant effectiveness, to provide TAs with feedback to improve future performance, and to provide evidence of TA teaching effectiveness in general. For students and TAs in participating departments, all user interfaces and functionalities will operate in the same manner as described for CIOS.