Course Evaluations

ESCI Resources for Instructors and TAs

The primary purpose of the Evaluation System for Courses and Instruction (ESCI) is to solicit students’ feedback about courses so that instructors can use that information to inform their teaching. ESCI can provide you with high-quality feedback when you (i.e. the instructor or TA) engage in the course evaluation process to increase response rates and help students give effective feedback. 

Instructional Development adheres to the Guiding Principles of Course Evaluation Data and Reports that identify survey data as sensitive, confidential information belonging to the instructor or TA. However, data from Items A and B and student comments are required for faculty merit and promotion cases, and TAs may need to make their data available for hiring procedures. Therefore particular departmental representatives (e.g. Academic Personnel Staff) may request this data on behalf of an instructor or TAs. 

ESCI Quarterly Timeline for Instructors


ESCI questionnaires are distributed online to students in Weeks 9 and 10 of the quarter. The ESCI system automatically sends email announcements to instructors and TAs in Weeks 8-10, and reminders to students in Weeks 9-10. Your department’s ESCI Contact is responsible for requesting that your course(s) be surveyed during Weeks 5-6 of each quarter. They can provide you with a copy of your questionnaire anytime during the quarter. If you wish to add customized questions to your ESCI questionnaire(s), they must be added by Week 6 (see instructions below). 


In Week 7 you (instructors/TAs) receive an email notification with a list of your courses that will be evaluated. Any errors must be reported to your department’s ESCI Contact(s) for immediate resolution. Your department’s ESCI Contact(s) will distribute statistical ESCI end-of-quarter reports to you in the weeks immediately after a quarter.  More details about the ESCI Quarterly Timeline are on the ESCI FAQs page.


Improve Student Response Rates and Feedback Quality

UCSB survey data shows that students respond best when the instructor explains why the students’ voice matters, asks for specific feedback about something, and sets time apart during class to complete the evaluations. Consider using the  following prompts and/or copy some of our sample slides to encourage students to respond to your questionnaires and help them give you useful feedback. 

Tell Students the Purpose of Course Evaluations 

  • "The university has course evaluations because ..." 

  • “Your responses to course evaluations are important to me because …” 

  • “Your feedback helps me to …” 


Explain how you have used and will use student responses 

  • “I have used students’ feedback from previous classes to …”

  • "After students said …, I kept … and I changed …"


Ask students to use the general comments area of your questionnaire to focus on specific aspects of the course and instruction that you are intentionally trying to improve or gather evidence about

  • “This is the first time that I’ve tried … Please tell me what worked or didn’t work about it.”

  • “This quarter I tried to improve … What are your impressions about its effectiveness for your learning?”

Customizing your Questionnaires

All instructors and TAs can add questions to their course questionnaires up through Week 6 of each quarter, but they cannot alter the required campus or department questions. Ask your departmental ESCI representative for a copy of your course questionnaires. 


To customize your questionnaire, you can choose questions from our existing banks of vetted questions (see below) and/or write your own. Customized questions are vetted by our Instructional Consultants and ESCI personnel to ensure appropriate survey design, that there are no duplicates in the ESCI database, that questions follow proper formatting conventions for online distribution and reporting, and for proofreading. Contact the ESCI Office to start the process.

ESCI Questions for Instructors  ESCI Questions for TAs


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Instructional Consultation
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ESCI Office
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TA Development Program
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The OIC Team
George Michaels
Lisa Berry
Mindy Colin
Inna Slyutova