The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Policy # [####]
UW Oshkosh Student Opinion of Instruction Data Collection Policy (FAC 6.6)

Original Issuance Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
Last Revision Date: MMMM DD, YYYY
Next Review Date: MMMM DD, YYYY







FAC 6.6. UW Oshkosh Student Opinion of Instruction Data Collection Policy
UW Oshkosh Student Opinion of Instruction Data Collection Policy
[Formerly (in part) FAC 6.6. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Policy and Procedures]

Amended by Faculty Senate: February 17, 2015
Revision Approved: November 3, 2020
Next Review Date: November 3, 2025


This policy applies to tenured and tenure-track faculty members and instructional academic staff, collectively referred to as “faculty” hereafter in this policy.


This document describes UW Oshkosh policy and procedures for a Student Opinion Survey pursuant to Regent Policy Document 20-2 Student Evaluation of Instruction.

UW Oshkosh provides students the opportunity to complete an online Student Opinion Survey (SOS) instrument for all sections of instruction. The data from the SOS instrument then become part of a larger set of Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) information. SEI data are used for two purposes.

The UW Oshkosh Improvement of Instruction Policy discusses the use of Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) data for faculty continuous improvement activity. Student Evaluation of Instruction data are an important source of information about educational experiences. While student opinion data collected by the UWO Student Opinion Survey can inform activity intended to improve the effectiveness of instruction, additional data collection may be needed for a faculty member to obtain information specific enough to permit improvement of instructional methods.

The UW Oshkosh Faculty Teaching Evaluation Policy discusses the use of student evaluation of instruction data for the evaluation of faculty teaching. In combination with other information, the larger set of SEI data, including data from the SOS instrument, can be a meaningful component of informed evaluations of faculty teaching. Informed evaluations of faculty teaching are then meaningful components of decisions related to renewal, promotion, and tenure, as well as merit-based compensation awards.

Responsible Officer

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs


The UW Oshkosh Student Opinion Survey (SOS) instrument consists of a common core of questions administered online to students.

Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) data are collected from students using the university-wide SOS instrument as well as other surveys or questionnaires about students’ experience of instruction.

Policy Statement

1. UW Oshkosh uses a university-wide Student Opinion Survey (SOS) instrument for all sections of all courses that consists of a common set of question prompts.

2. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs assigns responsibility for administering the SOS data collection process (hereafter, the “responsible center”). The Provost will notify the Faculty Senate Executive Committee if the responsible center changes.

3. The university-wide SOS instrument:

a. Is distributed online by the responsible center;

b. Provides students an opportunity to give anonymous feedback on instruction;

c. Is tailored to the mode of instruction (e.g., question prompts may be phrased differently for an in-person course than an online course);

d. Is distributed in every section in every course;

e. Is distributed any time after 85% of course contact time has occurred and becomes unavailable to students at the end of the last day of classes;

f. Is distributed following best practices to maximize student participation.

4. The responsible center processes SOS data according to the following guidelines:

a. Each faculty member has access to their data through an individualized dashboard;

b. Faculty are to be notified when results are available on their dashboard for each reporting period; results may not be released prior to the registrar’s final deadline for grade submission for the teaching period;

c. Instructor-level results per section available for all quantitative (Likert-scale based) question prompts include distributions for each item, number of responses, and response rates for each of the items in the survey;

d. Results that could lead to a loss of student anonymity (n below 6) would only be revealed when possible to aggregate with other sections in the same semester or over time;

e. Responses to qualitative prompts are available;

f. Course and section attributes such as class size, course level, program (graduate/undergraduate, general education, etc.), and mode of instruction, are available to the extent possible;

g. Aggregate department-, program-, and college-level data is available to all relevant users (faculty, chairs, program directors, deans, etc.).

5. Individual faculty have primary responsibility for the Student Evaluation of Instruction data (of all types, including SOS data) related to courses they teach. Faculty are responsible for communicating their data clearly in accordance with unit policies and procedures.

6. Faculty-specific data may not be reproduced or communicated without the faculty member’s consent.

The Improvement of Instruction Committee of the Faculty Senate is responsible for oversight of the SOS instrument. This responsibility includes:

a. Working with the responsible center to conduct a periodic review of the SOS instrument to ensure all question prompts are serving their intended purpose and that the data do not exhibit bias; this review of the SOS instrument should occur in concert with the regular review of this policy (see the Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities section);

b. Working with departments and programs to add a small number of instruction-related prompts to the common core that address dimensions specific to the department, program, or course delivery method (e.g., lab). Any approved additional departmental question prompts must be used for all sections of the identified relevant courses;

c. The IOI recommends changes to the common core question prompts to the Faculty Senate and works with departments/programs if changes are recommended to their added question prompts.

7. Each academic unit (e.g., departments of instruction) must state in its bylaws that it collects and uses SOS data in accordance with Regent, System, and UW Oshkosh policies. The bylaws must contain or refer to written policies and procedures that address the collection and use of SOS data (and other information) for improvement of instruction and faculty teaching evaluation.

Written policies and procedures should:

a. be adopted and revised in accordance with existing unit bylaws and policies;

b. be consonant with relevant policies of the College, University, UW System, and Board of Regents;

c. be formatted using the common UW Oshkosh policy format, including stating a review period and responsible party;

d. specify the collection process or method for additional data (beyond the common core question prompts of the university-wide SOS instrument), including requirements concerning frequency of collection, reporting format to faculty, communication from faculty to others, and similar administrative requirements; these requirements must be consistent for all faculty for a given course;

e. specify the expected use of the additional data.

Units are responsible for assuring their own members are aware of their local policies and procedures.

8. Any public record request for SOS data must be reviewed by the Provost’s Office to ensure the response complies with public records laws, including Wis State. 19.36(10)(d), which prohibits release of employee evaluations in response to a public records request. UW System Administration’s Office of Compliance and Integrity shall provide consultation regarding the release of SOS data in response to public records requests.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities 

Faculty Senate is responsible for the content and revision of this policy, consistent with Article 2 of the faculty constitution.

The Improvement of Instruction Committee of the Faculty Senate shall conduct a review of this policy at least once every five years. It may do so more frequently if governing policies change, at the request of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, or at the request of 25% of sitting Senators. If the Improvement of Instruction Committee deems any changes to be necessary, it shall recommend those changes to the Faculty Senate.

The Faculty Senate approves changes to this policy by majority vote.

Related Policy Documents and Applicable Laws 

RPD Regent Policy Document 20-2, “Student Evaluation of Instruction”

RPD Regent Policy Document 20-9, “Periodic Post-Tenure Review in Support of Tenured Faculty Development”

Regent Policy Document 20-23, “Faculty Tenure”

UWS 3.05, Wis. Admin. Code, “Periodic review”

Faculty Constitution Article 2, Section 2. “University Policy: Primary Faculty Responsibility”

UW Oshkosh Improvement of Instruction Policy

UW Oshkosh Faculty Teaching Evaluation Policy