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Nov 28 / Laura Woodward

Confidentiality and Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET)

Letter From A Student
Dear Dr. Woodward,

I am curious how confidential the online teachers’ evaluations are kept.

I have taken many online courses at Wayne State, but fear that the instructors would be able to know what every student has put in their evaluations.


A Student

Answer From The Director
Dear Student,

Online evaluation of teaching at Wayne is very secure and confidential. In addition, online evaluations can be more confidential because faculty members cannot recognize your handwriting.

For online evaluation of teaching, we use special codes to temporarily verify that a student is actually taking the class they are evaluating and is not double-voting. However, once we verify that the data we collected was accurate, we delete the code.

None of the reports which we provide to the instructors provide information about who actually made the comment. Hypothetically, if a faculty member hacked our servers to look at our databases, there would be no information identifying a student that it would be possible to find.

Thanks for your question.


Laura Woodward


Learn More About SET

More Questions


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  1. Student / Dec 29 2015

    I had a terrible experience with my teacher, as did many of my classmates. Where do I leave a more detailed evaluation?

    • Laura Woodward / Jan 11 2016

      Most items on the SET are used to give general feedback to the department which can be used for various departmental decision-making like raises and promotions. The comments area is confidential, only for the instructor. However SET does not substitute for a conversation with the chair in serious cases. In serious cases, I think you will find that talking to or writing to the chair, may be the best avenue for more specific feedback. Writing a letter to the faculty member can also be a good avenue if you think they will not need support from their supervisor to address your concerns.

  2. Corryn Jackson / Dec 7 2015

    I would like to evaluate a professor that dispensed the evaluation sheets during an excused absence. Can I do this online?

    • Laura Woodward / Jan 11 2016

      Unfortunately, we currently don’t have a mechanism to allow students who miss an evaluation period to enter their evaluation late. However, we are investigating that as a possible avenue of improvement in the future. Thanks for asking.

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