Available Online!

SPOTs (Student Perception of Teaching forms) are to be completed online. Faculty no longer provide paper SPOTs in class at the end of the semester.  Please remember to complete the SPOTs for the classes in which you are enrolled. In order to complete the SPOT, please go to Https://spot.fau.edu. Please note that some faculty may ask you to complete the SPOT in class using your smartphone or tablet.

Please keep in mind that SPOTs are an extremely effective tool to evaluate the quality of instruction.  Departments, schools, and colleges use individual instructor data and comments in annual evaluations, as well as for tenure and promotion.  SPOT results are presented to the faculty in summary form after the end of the semester. Individual SPOT responses are completely anonymous and remain anonymous. The faculty has no way of linking a SPOT to a particular student.

To complete the SPOT, go to https://spot.fau.edu   and click on the course name. 
Please note that some faculty may ask you to complete the SPOT in class using your smartphone.
If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Office of Testing and Evaluation at spot@fau.edu.
 

Announcement:

SPOT is an anonymous and effective tool given at the end of each semester to help evaluate the quality of instruction and improve the university’s education standards.

The Summer 2021 SPOT Results and Comments were sent out on August 25.  They were sent directly by e-mail to the instructors, professors, chairs and deans who had SPOT eligible data.

If you did not receive any of your results, there is a high probability that your class was ineligible for a SPOT Report. Those individual faculty members with SPOT eligible classes can also access all of their past SPOT Results from our website: https://www.fau.edu/spot/. The SPOT Comments are not available on the SPOT website.        

Below are the SPOT opening and closing dates for the 7 terms. SPOT (Student Perception of Teaching) for Fall 2021 will be available online on different days at 12:01 a.m.  It depends on the academic period in which the class occurs. The deadline for completion is the last day at 11:59 p.m.

  SPOT-Fall 2021  
TERM OPEN DATE AT 12:01AM CLOSE DATE AT 11:59PM
Intersession September 13 (Monday) September 19 (Sunday)
First 5-Weeks September 13 (Monday) September 19 (Sunday)
First Half October 2 (Saturday) October 8 (Friday)
Second 5-Weeks October 18 (Monday) October 24 (Sunday)
Third 5-Weeks November 29 (Monday) December 5 (Sunday)
Full Term November 29 (Monday) December 5 (Sunday)
Second Half December 4 (Saturday) December 10 (Friday)

 

General Frequently Asked Questions:

What is SPOT?

SPOT (Student Perception of Teaching) is an anonymous and effective tool given to students at the end of each semester term to help evaluate the quality of instruction and improve the university’s education standards.

What is the web address of SPOT?

https://www.fau.edu/spot/

What is the purpose of SPOT?

It has many purposes. 1) To provide students an opportunity to provide input that will help faculty improve their classes. 2) To provide administrators student input about the effectiveness of the faculty member’s teaching.  3) These evaluations are a way for the instructor and department to gauge areas of strengths and weaknesses and should be regarded as a positive learning tool. 

Why is SPOT important?

Student feedback is vital to the content and delivery of courses at FAU. SPOT results are used by the faculty to improve teaching and are a component in the promotion and tenure process of faculty.

What happens to the SPOT Reports and Comments?

The survey results are viewed by school deans, department chairs and faculty. Information gathered is used as part of the process to improve instruction at Florida Atlantic University.

Why doesn't my class have a SPOT?

1) The class format centers around individual instruction like an internship or supervised research. This will make the class ineligible for a SPOT.  2) There are fewer than 5 students in the class or fewer than 5 students combined in multiple cross-listed classes. This will make the class ineligible for a SPOT. 3) It is too early before the SPOT period or too late after the SPOT period. The SPOT will occur but a student has do the SPOT during the specific assigned SPOT time window.

What time of day does SPOT open and close?

SPOT opens on its first day at 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Time depending on the time of year. SPOT closes on its last day at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Time depending on the time of year. For those in other time zones, always use New York (USA) time in trying to figure the time difference. FAU and New York (USA) will always have the same time.

Why is SPOT online?

In an effort to streamline the survey process, FAU transitioned to an online course evaluation system in the Fall of 2014. The online system is convenient, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Why was SPOT switched from paper to on-line?

It was done for many reasons. 1) Increase the in-class time available for instruction 2) Increase feelings of anonymity on the part of respondents 3) Increase the ease of administration by removing data-entry, materials-distribution, collection, and process-explanation responsibilities that rested on both staff and faculty 4) Increase the security and consistency of the system by eliminating the involvement of students to administer, collect, and submit evaluations; 5) Increase the feeling in students that they may generate and submit comments at their leisure rather than on command 6) Increase student access to SPOT through online availability 6) Increase the speed of processing for submitted evaluations and availability to faculty / staff and administrators.

What is a Fast Track class and why does it matter?

A Fast Track class is a class with a non-traditional class schedule where it doesn’t begin during the first week of the semester and/or doesn’t end during the last week of the semester. A Fast Track class will have a unique SPOT period. The last day of a Fast Track class will be the last day of its SPOT opening. How long a SPOT is open depends on many factors. The professor is responsible to inform his/her students about the SPOT opening dates. If you are unsure when your SPOT occurs, ask your professor. If your professor is unsure, contact us (spot@fau.edu) with the CRN# of your class. Currently, only the School of Business conducts Fast Track classes. It is projected that Fast Track classes will end during Fall 2021.

Can a SPOT be reopened after it has already closed?

Unfortunately, it cannot be reopened once it has closed. However, if there has been a technical issue which prevented students from participating in SPOT and final grades have not been released to students, a professor would have to petition the administrators of SPOT who would then contact the Dean of Undergraduate Studies who would make the final decision on whether to open a class’ SPOT.

When will semester SPOT Reports and Comments be sent to professors, chairs and deans?

If it is after the Fall semester, SPOT reports are usually sent mid to late January. If it after the Spring or Summer semester, the SPOT reports are sent 4-5 weeks after the semester ends.

How are SPOT results used?

The results of these evaluations are used to provide feedback to instructors and to assist with assessment of teaching during considerations for merit raises, reappointment, promotion, tenure, and scheduling and revision of courses.

What is a Web-based course evaluation?

Web-based course evaluations are electronic questionnaires requiring a written answer or selected response to a series of questions in order to evaluate the instruction of a given course. These evaluations are a means to produce useful as well as timely feedback, which instructors and their departments can use to improve quality of instruction. It is done completely on line including participation, marketing and results.

Who is required to use the SPOT system?

All students and professors who are in SPOT eligible classes.

How do you use the SPOT database to find SPOT scores from the past?

Go to the FAU SPOT website: https://www.fau.edu/spot/. Go to the right section, SPOT Results. Click "Fall 2015 & Future Terms SPOT". Or go to the right section, Past SPOT Results. Click "Summer 2015 & Prior Terms" or "Fall 2013 & Prior Terms". Click "Search by one of three variables: Instructor's Name, Prefix and Course Sequence Number or CRN#". Then choose which semester to search. If a class generated a SPOT report, it will be shown. If not, the following message is generated: "Sorry, no results were found for your search parameters. Please try again." One must be precise with all data entries to generate the proper results.

What are the schedule types (or class types) which are SPOT eligible?

Laboratory, Lecture/Discussion, Lecture, Lecture and Lab, Studio, Performance Instruction, Discussion and Special Topics Course

What are the schedule types (or class types) which are not SPOT eligible?

Co-op, Dissertation, Independent Study, Internship, Master Thesis, Supervised Research, Supervised Teaching, Private Lesson, Studio, Supervised Teaching and Generic Combined Schedule Code

Which department at FAU is responsible for SPOT?

Actually, there are multiple departments responsible for SPOT. The team of departments working on SPOT is headed by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The rules and regulations of SPOT were created by the Provost. The computer interface and technical operations are run by the Office of Information Technology. SPOT long term data storage and SPOT department mean generation is run by Institutional Effectiveness and Analysis. SPOT class information which determines initial SPOT eligibility in Banner is maintained by the Registrar. The SPOT Opening and Closing dates are decided by the Faculty Senate. SPOT daily operations are maintained by the Office of Testing and Evaluation. Any questions and concerns should be e-mailed only to spot@fau.edu. No phone calls, please.

 

 

Student Frequently Asked Questions:

Why isn’t my SPOT open?

First, the class could be SPOT ineligible. If a class is centered around individual instruction like an internship for example, it will be ineligible for a SPOT. Second, if the class (or Cross Section of classes) has fewer than 5 students, the class (or Cross Section of classes) will be ineligible for a SPOT. Third, the timing is incorrect. Each class has a specific time window for SPOT. Normally, that window is 7 days.

I made a mistake on my submitted SPOT. Can I go back and fix it?

No, once a SPOT is submitted, it is no longer available and cannot be altered and/or resubmitted.

How long does SPOT take?

Each class survey typically takes between 3-5 minutes to complete. If you decide to add comments, it could take longer.

If I complete a SPOT, can my professor see what I wrote before my final grades are turned in?

No. The only information that a professor has about a SPOT before final grades are turned in is that a professor can see how many students from a class have completed a SPOT. Also, professors typically won't receive their SPOT Reports and Comments until at least 2 weeks after final grades have been submitted.

After final grades are submitted, can a professor find out who submitted which SPOT?

No, all SPOT records are anonymous. However, please be aware that if a student mentions specific class details in their Comments that it might identify him/her; however, the professor would be unable to link the comments to the individual SPOT rating since all SPOT ratings are aggregated.

How do I access the SPOT for my course(s)?

Click the "CLICK HERE" hyperlink on the FAU SPOT home page. You must log in using your FAU ID and password. This information is NOT submitted as part of the feedback data. All surveys are anonymous.

When can I provide SPOT feedback about my course(s)?

SPOT for each term is available around the second to last week of the term. The SPOT lasts 7 days unless the term is shorter than 3 weeks.

Will my instructor know if I completed the SPOT?

No. Instructors can view the response rates (number of students which completed the SPOT) for their courses while the surveys are open, but cannot view any other data. The surveys are administered centrally through the Office of Information Technology (OIT). OIT is not affiliated with any academic unit and/or faculty.

Can I use my mobile device to answer the SPOT?

Yes, the SPOT is mobile friendly. You can complete your surveys by going to https://spot.fau.edu on your mobile device.

Why do I see more than one instructor for one class in my SPOT?

Sometimes, a course will have multiple instructors.

Should I provide SPOT feedback for all of the instructors listed for the class?

Submit surveys only for those courses with the correct instructor name. Some courses have multiple instructors listed. Please disregard those course listings that you see with an instructor who did not teach you.

Why can't I see all of my course links on the SPOT?

This may be caused by one of several issues. 1) You are not viewing the link during the date range allocated for submitting a SPOT. 2) Some types of courses are not included in SPOT, specifically Co-op, Dissertation, Independent Study, Internship, Master Thesis, Supervised Research, Supervised Teaching, Private Lesson, Studio and Supervised Teaching. 3) The missing class had fewer than 5 students.

What login do I use to complete my SPOT?

You must log in using your FAU Username and Password. This information is NOT submitted as part of the feedback data.

Why is a course (that I'm not registered for or that I have dropped) still on my SPOT list?

Officially, the University has you listed as "registered" for that course. Please contact the Registrar's office or your FAU advisor to determine why you are still registered in that class.

Why is completing my SPOT important to the university?

Departments and colleges within FAU use individual instructor data and comments in annual evaluations, as well as for tenure and promotion decisions.

When does my SPOT open?

It depends on your class. Contact your professor who should know the dates. If your professor is unsure, contact us (spot@fau.edu) with the CRN# of your class.

Are SPOT student responses confidential?

Yes. Faculty members are not able to associate specific responses with specific students. Unlike paper surveys, faculty members, teaching assistants, and other students cannot see surveys belonging to other people. In addition, instructors are not able to view the results for a particular course unless 5 or more responses have been completed. All numeric responses are also aggregated. These policies helps ensure the anonymity of student respondents in low-enrollment courses, as well as larger courses with low response rates.

How do I access the SPOT system?

Go to the FAU SPOT website: https://www.fau.edu/spot/. Go to the bottom of the website and click where it says "CLICK HERE". Login with your FAU NetID. Click on each course to complete the SPOT for that course.

What if the SPOT survey times out on me?

The student should retry and log in again.

Are the SPOT results really anonymous?

Yes. Your log in information is not submitted as part of the feedback data and all SPOT results are 100% anonymous.

If the SPOT survey is anonymous, why do I have to log in?

The login is used to: verify that you are eligible to complete the SPOT; determine which courses are to be surveyed by you; and determine which courses have already been surveyed by you. IMPORTANT NOTE: Your log in information is NOT submitted as part of the feedback data.

 

 

Faculty Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Why didn’t I receive a SPOT Report this semester?

Likely, it was because fewer than 5 students completed the SPOT for the class (99% of the time). Also, it could be because the class was SPOT was ineligible because it had too few students or individualized instruction like an internship.

Why weren't my SPOT Results sent to me when I know that my students did their SPOTs?

Assuming that your class had a SPOT eligible Schedule Type, the most likely reason (99% of the time) is that fewer than 5 students completed the SPOT. If that happens, the class is SPOT ineligible and no reports are produced. Just because you had a large number of students doesn't guarantee that at least 5 student will complete a SPOT.

How do I access my SPOT Reports and Comments?

You have a few options.     1) Your FAU e-mail account: We send all reports to professor/chair/dean e-mail accounts. If you are a professor, search your FAU email account with "SWRTES41" and "SWRTES46". If you are a chair, search your FAU email account with "SWRTES43" and "SWRTES47". If you are a dean, search your FAU email account with "SWRTES51" and "SWRTES53".   2) You could contact your chair and dean who have all professor SPOT reports.  3) You can go to https://www.fau.edu/spot/ and access them there from our database. However, there are no student written comments there. 4)If you are a professor and need your written comments, please e-mail spot@fau.edu from your official FAU e-mail account and state which semester that you need. Understand that it might take 5-10 business days to recreate. 5)If you are a Dean or Chair, please email spot@fau.edu from your official FAU e-mail account and state which semester that you need. Understand that it might take 5-10 business days to recreate.

Why can't I access my SPOT Reports and Comments from your SPOT website?

Likely, it was because fewer than 5 students completed the SPOT for the class. Also, it could be because the class was SPOT was ineligible because it had too few students or individualized instruction like an internship. Also, SPOT Comments are not available on our website.

Is it possible to increase SPOT response rates?

Yes. The key is to communicate with your students and monitor the percentage of SPOT completion. Ask your students to check their e-mail daily, and complete their online survey for each course. Periodically remind students to complete their SPOT evaluations before the deadline for the current term. You may want to communicate the value of course evaluations, providing examples of how you have used them to improve your courses in the past. Emphasize that results are completely anonymous and confidential. Students are not identified individually and results are not available to instructors until weeks after final grades are submitted by faculty. Remember to check your response rates regularly and tailor your communications with your students accordingly. To monitor response rates in real time, return to the home page of this site.

As an instructor, what steps do I need to take to prepare for SPOT?

At the beginning of the semester, you will be sent an instructor's course list (SWRTES10 will be the subject on your e-mail.). It will list all of the courses that you will teach for that semester or intersession. It will list data about the class including: Course Code, Section, CRN, Course Title, Section Type, Instruction Method, Course Status, SPOT type (or eligibility), Cross-Listed Course (Status), and Part of Term. Confirm if this information is correct. If it is not, contact your department chair within 6 days (or 2 days for an Intersession class). (Do not e-mail SPOT.) The most important information on that e-mail is SPOT type where it will state if a SPOT will be conducted for the class or not. You will then receive an e-mail 2 days before the SPOT begins for your classes which will announce when the SPOT will open. Once the SPOT starts, you can provide encouragement to your students to help increase response rates.

Can I see the SPOT results for individual sections that are cross-listed?

No. Cross-listed sections are combined and treated as one section. The results for individual cross-listed sections are not available. The instructor may receive PDF reports for each section in an e-mail. The combined results for the cross-listed sections will be the same in all of the reports.

Can I send SPOT evaluations to students that are not enrolled in my class or block SPOT evaluations from students that stop attending my class?

No and no. If the student is enrolled in your class, he or she will have the opportunity to participate in SPOT.

Can individual instructors, departments, or colleges customize their SPOT evaluations?

No, every class has the same SPOT evaluation with the same questions.

How are SPOT Data Reports aggregated?

Questions 1-5: State what percentage selected: Completely Agree, Somewhat Agree, Somewhat Disagree, Completely Disagree, and No Response. These percentages added together equal 100%. The mean scores for each question 1-5 are generated by a formula. (Completely Agree=A, Somewhat Agree=B, Somewhat Disagree=C, Completely Disagree=D, No Response=E)               Mean= (((A/100)+((B/100)*2)+((C/100)*3)+((D/100)*4)))/(((A+B+C+D)/100)) The best score possible is 1. And the worst score possible is 4.      

Question 6: State what percentage selected: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, and No Response. These percentages added together equal 100%. The mean scores for question 6 is generated by a formula. (Excellent=A, Very Good=B, Good=C, Fair=D, Poor=E, No response=F) Mean=((A/100)+((B/100)*2)+((C/100)*3)+((D/100)*4)+((E/100)*5))/(((A+B+C+D+E)/100)) The best score possible is 1. And the worst score possible is 5.                                       

How much time do students have to complete their SPOT evaluations?

7 days, unless it is an Intersession class which is 2 days.

When are SPOT results available?

The SPOT Results are available on the SPOT website approximately 6-8 weeks after a semester has ended. The SPOT Comments are unavailable on the SPOT website. SPOT Reports and Comments are sent directly to faculty members, department chairs and school deans. They are sent to FAU e-mail accounts only.

Are professors encouraged to talk to their students on the importance of SPOT?

Yes

How will I receive my SPOT Reports and Comments?

Pdf files will be sent to your FAU e-mail account.

I received my SPOT Reports for my class, but didn't receive my SPOT Comments. Why not?

Sometimes no one in the class participates in the SPOT comments section. Thus, no SPOT Comments report will be generated.

Who determines if a class has initial SPOT eligibility?

There are 2 determinants in initial SPOT eligibility. 1) The class must have at least 5 students. 2) The academic department determines the Schedule Type which is confirmed by the Registrar and placed in Banner. The departments which manage SPOT play no part in this process.

I can't open my SPOT Results/Comments pdfs with Adobe. What do I do?

1) Find the file that you want to open.
2) Right click the file and select "Open with" and choose Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

I received my SPOT Report for my classes, but I only got 1 SPOT Report when I have multiple classes. Where are the other SPOT Reports?

Scroll down the documents. There are likely multiple pages within each pdf. File.

I am teaching a Fast Track class. Will my students receive a notice when their SPOT is open?

No. Each Fast Track professor must notify their own students when their class' SPOT is open?

What percentage of a class does an instructor need to be responsible for to qualify for a SPOT?

1) Less than or equal to 90% but more than 0%. 2)100%

 

 

 

 
 To begin the SPOT process:

question markTo Begin the SPOT process, CLICK HERE.

question markLogin with your FAU NetId. 

question markClick on each course to complete the SPOT for that course

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Office of Testing and Evaluation at spot@fau.edu

 

 

 Last Modified 9/2/21