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Office of the University Registrar

Input on Teaching from Students (ITS)

Overview

American University has partnered with eXplorance, Inc. to provide an online survey tool called Blue ® for its Input on Teaching from Students (ITS). ITS replaces the former paper Student Evaluation of Teaching (SETs).

Blue distributes the evaluations, collects responses and provides reports. Blue operates on calendar triggers to send email notifications to faculty and students to complete their ITS tasks.

Instructor tasks include Question Personalization and Subject View Management. This task completion is requested of faculty several days before Students are invited by Blue to complete ITS.

Student tasks are to complete the Form Fill Out, which is to complete their enrolled section survey.

Blue email notifications for tasks include a link to the task, and Blue is also accessible via the Blackboard homepage or at https://american.bluera.com/american.

Issues with Blue, or the ITS system as a whole, should be directed to the Office of the University Registrar at: ITS_services@american.edu.

Information for Instructors

For detailed instructions on entering personalized questions or changing the default dates the survey is available, please read the ITS Instructions

Timing

  • Evaluation settings are managed in Blue through Subject View Management (SVM) tasks. SVM is used to adjust evaluation timing and displays the response rates for section evaluations.
  • The duration of the section (in calendar days) determines the default start and end dates for the survey. Standard evaluations are available for approximately one week.
  • By default, most surveys will close on the section end date in Colleague.
  • Instructors can change the dates the survey is available to students. (ITS Instructions
  • Surveys must close prior to final exams.  
Adding Questions
  • Instructors can add personalized questions BEFORE the survey goes live to students using Question Personalization (QP) tasks.
  • You cannot add additional questions after the survey goes live. (ITS Instructions)
  • See Bank of Items for a list of statements to use for Question Personalization. 

Administration

  • We strongly recommend instructors to allow students to respond to the ITS during class time. Instructors who used class time had the highest response rates in the pilot.
  • Instructors should inform students in advance that time will be allotted during class, and students should be encouraged to bring laptops, tablets, or other Internet-enabled devices.
  • Instructors must leave the room while students are responding to the surveys.

Information for Students

  • Students will receive automated e-mails with direct links to their surveys; they will also be able to access their ITS from their Blackboard homepage https://american.bluera.com/american.
  • Students can complete the ITS on any web-enabled device (including phones), but should consider the need to leave narrative comments, which not all devices accommodate for equally well.
  • Students are able to save and close without submitting the survey. So long as they have not submitted, they can go back in and edit.
  • Students will continue to receive reminder e-mails about un-submitted surveys until the survey closes.

Your feedback helps us improve the quality of our courses and instruction.  Completing online surveys will take 5-10 minutes and is completely anonymous.

You will receive an email when a survey becomes available for completion which is usually two weeks prior to the last day of classes for the term.  After you click the link, you will be asked to enter your username and password.  After successfully authenticating, you will be presented with all sections with active surveys.  You can also access the list of surveys to complete by selecting the “Input on Teaching from Students” module on the Blackboard homepage.

You will receive email reminders for surveys that have not been completed.