Evaluation of teaching and courses
The University of Ottawa is committed to ensuring the quality of its academic programs, its teaching and the learning experiences of its students. An important component of this is the official evaluation of teaching and courses by students.
At the University of Ottawa, all courses involving at least nine contact hours with the same professor will be subject to an evaluation by students, regardless of the number of students and the teaching method used. If two or more professors teach a course, each professor is evaluated at the end of the term for the portion of the course they have taught, given that this portion consists of more than nine contact hours.
Evaluation takes place on specific dates as the end of term draws near. Although students may complete the evaluation online at any time during a two-week period, the professor also allocates a 10 to 20-minute period of class time, during which they leave the room.
The evaluation process was developed in consultation with the Internal Audit Office. Official forms must be used to conduct online evaluations, unless the Senate authorizes a specific evaluation method or exemption. A customized formative evaluation, comprising 10 questions, can be added to the official form if the professor wishes more precise feedback. Only the professor can see the results of the customized formative evaluation.
Although professors can check participation rates in real time, they do not receive the results before the final grades are official. Anonymity is guaranteed and the evaluation does not affect student grades.
Evaluation of teaching and courses process
Start of term
- Lists of courses are created from data transferred from uoCampus to EvaluAction. The lists, broken down by academic organization, are then sent to the faculties.
- Academic units verify the data transferred from uoCampus to EvaluAction and indicate modifications that need to be made (change of date for the evaluation of a course, excluding a course from evaluation, etc.).
- Professors have the option to add a maximum of 10 customized formative questions to the online form. An email is sent to them for this purpose.
- Professors may also conduct a .
End of term
- Students access the evaluation platform through an invitation email, uoZone or Virtual Campus to evaluate their courses.
- Professors can see the participation rates in real time on the EvaluAction platform.
Next term (after final grades are considered official)
- Different reports (for administrators and professors) are available on the evaluation platform.
- Reports for students are available on uoZone.
Did you know...
- The evaluation of teaching and courses was implemented in 1977.
- A customized formative evaluation component was added in 2002 to allow professors to receive more feedback.
- More than 650,000 sheets of paper and 20,000 envelopes were used to conduct paper evaluations.
- The average participation rate for paper evaluations was 63%.
- In 2017, the University adopted an online evaluation platform, Blue, powered by eXplorance, to evaluate all courses.
- The (PDF, 129KB) was revised to showcase students’ learning experience and wellbeing in 2021.
Purpose, benefits and impacts of course evaluations
- To provide professors with information to improve and enhance their teaching skills.
- To provide information to factor teaching performance into faculty appointment decisions.
- To give students a way to voice their opinions on teaching and course content.
- To give students information about certain aspects of faculty teaching.
- To help the University of Ottawa maintain a high standard of teaching.
Benefits and impacts
- Improves the quality of teaching at the University
- Measures the success of teaching and courses
- Disseminates student opinions of courses anonymously
- Allows students to select their courses wisely and make informed choices
- Improves the quality of student experience in the classroom and in general
- Improves the student experience for future generations of students
The evaluation is made up of two sections: a questionnaire and confidential comments. If the professor wishes to gather more specific feedback, up to 10 more questions may be added, but these answers to these questions will not be included in the official results and will only be seen by the professor.
The questionnaire consists of 13 general questions and 3 questions used for statistical purposes only. The questionnaire was revised to showcase students’ learning experience and wellbeing in 2021. The answers are analyzed and summarized in the following separate reports:
Personal Report – Professors
This is a single report that aims to provide professors with student feedback to help them improve their teaching. This document is accessible only to targeted faculty members and contains the following reports:
- The P report: results of the 13 questions
- Student comments
- The customized formative evaluation report (if applicable)
The content of the personal report is intended for the professor and is accessible only when the final grades are considered official, a few weeks after the final exams.
A-Report — Administrators
The A-Report is part of the teaching dossier of faculty members and is placed on file to be used by the Faculty’s dean and Faculty Teaching Personnel Committees to annually review the professor’s individual teaching performance. They examine the reports from at least the last three consecutive years to identify a trend. Professors can also view the A-Report online. The A-Report contains the following three questions:
- I find the professor well prepared for class (question 1).
- I think the professor conveys the subject matter effectively (question 4).
- I find that the professor, as a teacher is... (question 9).
Course Evaluation Report – Students
The Course Evaluation Report (formerly called S-Report) contains the tabulated results of the three statistical questions and of the 13 questions on the official evaluation form. It is published online and is accessible to all students currently enrolled at the University of Ottawa and to all faculty members. To view the Course Evaluation Reports, log in to uoZone or VirtuO, click on the "Applications" tab and then select "Course Evaluation Reports".