Online Student Survey of Teaching Opens April 15

Amy Mendenhall, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Corinne Bannon, Vice Provost & Chief Data Officer for Analytics, Institutional Research, & Effectiveness
Friday, April 12, 2024, 3:50 p.m.
KU Lawrence Edwards All Faculty; KU Graduate Teaching Assistants

Dear Instructors,

The University Student Survey of Teaching will open to students in all full semester courses on April 15. The last day to complete the survey is May 3.

In this email you’ll find some tips for increasing response rates, information about communicating with students effectively, and resources for interpreting the results.

Tips to increase response rates

Low response rates are a challenge that we can tackle both at the university level and instructor level. At the university level, we are exploring various strategies for student communications and notifications. At the individual course level, here are some steps you can take as an instructor to improve response rates:

  • For in-person classes, announce you are reserving time in an upcoming class to complete the survey; leave the room during that time. Recognize not all students have access to a device, so ask them to email you in advance if they need an alternative arrangement.
  • For online classes, include a reminder of the survey. Using reminders in videos, assignment lists, announcements, and other communications with students is recommended.
  • In class and online, direct students to the survey link. There are two easy ways students can find the survey link:
    • In their email with the subject line “Student Surveys of Teaching”; and
    • In Canvas under “Account” in the Global Navigation.
  • The survey system allows instructors to view live survey response rates. Please take a minute today to familiarize yourself with this feature and check your response rates periodically throughout the survey period. NOTE: response rates do not appear for a course until the first student survey for that course is submitted. Click here for your response rates page.

Communicating effectively with your students

There is guidance available under “Student communications/how to find the link to the survey” on the AIRE Student Survey Resource Page, including the email templates that are sent to students. Here are a few further tips:

  • Communicate to your class this standard language based on our policy: The student survey of teaching is an important part of teaching at KU. Participation is voluntary, but your thoughtful responses can help instructors improve their courses. Administrators also use survey results as a source of information in personnel processes like instructor teaching assignments, annual evaluation, and promotion and tenure. Instructors will have access to survey results only after final grades have been submitted, and your name will not be included in those results.
  • Communicate often to your students during the survey period. Explain the importance of completing the surveys. Tell students that you take their feedback seriously and use their responses to improve your course. You can monitor the response rates on the Response Rate tab of your Student Surveys of Teaching dashboard in your Qualtrics account.
  • Please refrain from offering incentives for completion of the survey until we exhaust other efforts for improving response rates and can devise a way to promote incentives in a consistent way.
  • Please emphasize to your students that responses are anonymous, and instructors will not have access to see or review SST results until after grades have been submitted.

Interpreting the results

You will find additional resources about interpreting and using the survey results on the Center for Teaching Excellence and Analytics, Institutional Research, & Effectiveness (AIRE) websites.

You will receive access to your results after the semester ends and the final grade submission deadline has passed. For any questions about your Qualtrics account, dashboard access, or any other administrative support needs, please email

Thank you for your continued feedback as we work to improve the information you receive from students.


Amy Mendenhall

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Corinne Bannon

Vice Provost & Chief Data Officer

Analytics, Institutional Research, & Effectiveness