Reading SIRS Summary Statistics

How to Read the Student Instructional Rating Survey Summary

Note that the rating form currently being used as an example and any other form is instructor specific and reflects student response in regards to that instructor only.

The first ten questions of the Student Instructional Rating Form are standardized for all departments. Additional questions may be added by a department. For example, the physics department has five different versions of the form with different questions numbered 11 through 19, depending on the type of course (lab, lecture, workshop, etc.).

Hover your mouse over the colored portions of the sample summary sheet below for an explanation, or view the descriptions below:

Sample Summary

Rutgers University Student Instructional Rating
Standard SIRS (Scannable Paper Form
Descartes Rene
Fall 2010
01:730:101:02LOGIC REASON PERSUAS (index #05483)
Enrollment= 430, Responses= 243

Part A: University-wide Questions:
Student Responses Weighted Means
No response
Section Course Level Dept
1. The instructor was prepared for class and presented the material in an organized manner 0 1 6 45 187 4 4.75 4.61 4.40 4.44
2. The instructor responded effectively to student comments and questions 2 0 13 56 170 2 4.63 4.53 4.33 4.43
3. The instructor generated interest in the course material 1 5 22 42 170 3 4.56 4.41 4.14 4.27
4. The instructor had a positive attitude toward assisting all students in understanding course material 1 2 9 56 172 3 4.65 4.58 4.42 4.48
5. The instructor assigned grades fairly 0 3 23 53 134 30 4.49 4.39 4.14 4.25
6. The instructional methods encouraged student learning 1 5 35 59 136 7 4.37 4.24 3.95 4.06
7. I learned a great deal in this course 3 8 27 59 140 6 4.37 4.23 3.94 4.10
8. I had a strong prior interest in the subject matter and wanted to take this course 12 11 62 61 89 8 3.87 3.74 3.78 3.89
Poor Excellent
9. I rate the teaching effectiveness of the instructor as 2 1 17 63 151 9 4.54 4.41 4.09 4.21
10. I rate the overall quality of the course as 3 2 19 77 129 13 4.42 4.29 3.95 4.09

Descriptions of SIRS Items:

Survey Title, indicating the standard 10 questions were used. If a department has a set of common questions following the 10 university-wide questions, the title will indicate which survey questions were used. Weighted averages are calculated separately for each set of survey questions. For instance, the Physics department has five distinct sets of questions, and gets five distinct department means as a result (one for lectures, one for labs, etc.)

Survey Format indicates whether this survey was conducted on scannable paper (“bubble”) forms or using the online survey tool. Weighted averages are calculated separately for the paper and online surveys.

Instructor name
(Lastname followed by firstname)

Course number. In this example:
01 is the school code (School of Arts and Sciences – SAS)
730 is the subject code (Philosophy)
101 is the course number
02 is the section number. Note: In the case of a lecture with multiple sections, the section number may explicitly list multiple section numbers, or “00” if the survey was conducted on paper.
05483 is the course index number. Note: In the case of a lecture the index number may appear as 99999, again indicating that the survey is comprised of more than one section.

Course Title

Enrollment for the course at the the time of the survey.

Total Responses, the total number of forms properly completed by the students when the survey was conducted. The response rate (percentage) is the total responses divided by the enrollment.

Frequency of Student Responses (may display as a bar chart) shows the number of students who gave each answer. Answers are on a scale from 1 to 5. (1=strongly disagree; 5=strongly agree, unless otherwise indicated).

In this example:
0 students responded strongly disagree (1)
1 student responded disagree (2)
6 students responded neutral (3)
45 students responded agree (4)
187 students responded strongly agree (5)

No response records the number of students who gave no response for the corresponding question (i.e., the student skipped that question, leaving the answer blank or answering “N/A”). Note: For paper surveys, the number of no responses also takes into account the number of responses which were made in a way the scanner could not read. For example, students who responded using a red pen or too light a mark will be factored into this value.

Mean of Section shows the weighted average score for the instructor of the section, on a scale from 1 to 5. For lectures or crosslistings with more than one section, this is the mean for the combined sections. Just as a student’s grade point average represents the student’s average grade points per credit hour, the mean of section represents the instructor’s average response per student in the section. In this example Professor Descartes received a 4.75 for question one. The next three columns are provided as a reference to give context to this number.

Mean of Course shows the weighted average score on the corresponding question for all sections of the same course combined, including TAs, PTLs and faculty teaching other sections of the course during the same semester (all sections having the same course number except for the section and index numbers) If there is only one section of the course, the mean of section and mean of course will always be equal. In this example, the weighted mean of the course is 4.61 (meaning Professor Descartes was rated higher than the other instructors teaching the same course).

Mean of Level shows the weighted mean score for all courses at the same level within the same school and department. In this example, the course is a 100-level introductory course, and the weighted mean for all 100-level courses (having course numbers ranging from 100 through 199) in the Philosophy Department was 4.40.

Mean of Department shows the weighted average score on the question for all courses within the same subject and school code. In this example the weighted mean of SAS Philosophy is 4.44, showing that the students gave Professor Descartes a higher rating than they gave the department as a whole.