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Office of Teaching Evaluation and Assessment Research
Office of Teaching Evaluation and Assessment Research 116 College Avenue
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: (848) 932-7466
Fax: (732) 932-1845

Frequently Asked Questions (for students) - Online SIRS

Where do I complete the surveys? or
Where can I see the survey results?
SIRS Results -
My professor wants to see a receipt that shows I completed the survey, how do I get one?
The survey system will never reveal your participation unless you choose to print your own receipt. To print a receipt, go to, then print the “Dashboard” page that shows all of your surveys and whether each one has been completed. You must print all receipts before the survey ends. After the survey ends, it will disappear from the system and and we will not be able to generate a receipt due to the anonymity of the surveys.
Can I stop the email reminders?
Yes, but not with one click. The system will stop sending you email reminders when you complete or opt out of all your surveys. However, each instructor's survey is independent of the others, so they won't completely stop until you submit all the surveys. To opt out of your surveys, go to You can choose to opt back in later, if desired.

If you are not ready to complete your surveys, you may want to filter your email messages. If you are using ScarletMail (or any gmail account), open one of the survey reminders then click the triangle in the upper-right corner and choose "filter messages like these". For other mail systems, you can usually find the filters in the "options" area and manually type in the "from" address of the message.
I didn't get any survey email, how can I participate?
Go to and log in with your NetID, and you'll find all your surveys. If you have never used your NetID yet, you need to activate your NetID to set a password. You should also make sure that the email address that the university has on file is correct, you can do that on the "Manage NetID" page (the Official Rutgers Email Address or Display Address is what the system will send your mail to).
Why don't I see surveys for all my courses?
Instructors may change the survey dates for their own courses, so not every survey will appear at the same time. In general, surveys are available during the last week of class meetings.

In addition, a few courses may not have a survey (for instance, independent studies or courses with only one student enrolled).
Why am I getting surveys for someone who is not my professor or for a course that I'm not taking?
You will only get surveys for courses that you are enrolled in, but we sometimes list the name of the wrong professor. Just let us know by clicking the link on the survey form, and we'll fix it as quickly as possible.

In other cases, you may have more than one instructor who is teaching different groups of students in the same class - for instance Chem 161 has many recitation instructors who you may or may not work with. You should fill out the surveys for the TAs or instructors who you have, and you can skip the questions for the other instructors.
Will my professors know that I responded?
No. Your instructor will only know the total number of students who responded, but will never see who chose to participate or not. Please see our privacy statement for full details.
Will the survey affect my grades?
No. Your instructor must submit final grades before the Registrar's deadline. We do not release the survey results until after that date.
How can I answer the question about fair grading when I haven't seen my final grade?
By the last week of the course, you should have enough grading and feedback from your professor on homework, midterms, projects, stated grading policy, etc., to accurately judge whether your professor grades fairly or not. It's not necessary to know your exact final grade in order to answer this question - in fact we deliberately try to end the survey before you know your final grade in order to help prevent grades and survey ratings from influencing or affecting one another.
I made a mistake filling out my survey, can it be corrected?
You can go back and change your responses up until the survey due date (the link may not appear to be clickable, but you can click it anyway). After the due date, we cannot change your response since the survey is anonymous and we can't tell which response is your in order to correct it. However we do have a process in place where your instructor can request corrections after they get the results, but only if the mistake really stands out (like you gave an excellent teacher awful ratings, or commented on the wrong course). You may want to let your instructor know that you made a mistake so they know to look out for it and request a correction later. But in many cases the error falls within the expected margin of error, and will average out over time.
Why do I need to log in? Does this violate my anonymity?
Log-in information is confidential. It is used only to determine which surveys you can take, and to prevent you from responding more than once to the same survey. All reports generated by OTEAR only include anonymous, aggregate data. See the privacy statement for more information. Instructors will only see anonymous data, and only after final grades have been submitted.
Who reads these?
Most instructors read their own surveys and take the student comments very seriously, particularly if the comments are well thought out, honest, and constructive. Results are also read by department chairs and promotion committees. And many students will look at the SIRS Results before chosing which courses to take.
How are the results used?
University-wide, the survey results are used as part of the faculty promotion and tenure review process, they are also posted at the SIRS Results web site for students to review. While the use of the survey data varies within individual academic units, it is often used as part of a review process for improving the curriculum, implementing changes to teaching strategies, or reappointment review for part-time lecturers and teaching assistants. Many faculty and instructors use the survey data, in particular the comments, to assess and improve their own teaching methods.
Who gets to see the comments?
OTEAR sends the comments directly to the instructors and to the academic departments. The comments are completely anonymous and grouped by question. Comments are not published.





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