For Instructors

Five tips to encourage participation and thoughtful feedback.

Do it in class

  • Schedule time during class to discuss SPOT and for students to complete the survey.
  • Remind students that it can be completed on a smart phone or other mobile device.
  • Provide the URL on class materials or write it on the board  

Show and tell

  • Let students know that their participation matters.
  • Show students the report that instructors receive with results. It could be one of your own or an example downloaded from the SPOT support site.
  • Describe class content or teaching methods you have changed, or would consider changing, in response to student feedback.

Offer guidance for open-ended items

  • Provide verbal or written directions to focus written comments (see back side or next page for examples).
  • Share examples of useful comments (real or hypothetical).
  • Prompt students to comment on specific class activities or experiences.

Emphasize confidentiality

  • Tell students that results do not include personally identifying information.
  • Remind students that instructors get feedback AFTER grades are submitted.

Step out

  • Re-enforce perceptions of confidentiality by asking another instructor or a student to monitor your class.
  • Step out of the room while students complete the questionnaire.


Making the best use of open-ended SPOT items

To encourage better written comments, provide some prompts that students may use to help focus their ideas. This could be provided on a handout, in Canvas, or just written on the board before SPOT is completed in class.

Item 9: What could you have done to be a better learner?

Try an alternate phrasing that makes this question about helping future students, such as:

“Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give someone just starting this class?”

Item 10: Please add any additional comments regarding the course and/or instructor.

Some students will know exactly what they want to say here, but others may draw a blank if they have not previously thought about this.

Use this item to get answers to specific questions that are important to YOU. Ask the students to comment on something in particular for which you would like feedback, such as:

What were the best and worst aspects of the video lessons?

Should I continue to include the field trip to Kentland Farms?

Item 12: Please add any comments about the physical environment.

This is not just about wall paint and air conditioning. Point out that “physical environment” includes meeting spaces, lab equipment, and technologies used to support teaching and learning. If you teach online, ask students to comment on the “virtual environment” for the class.


Accessing Results: Information for Course Instructors

Instructors will receive an email when SPOT results become available. For Fall Sessions, this will be in the first half of January. For Spring, Summer, and Winter Sessions, this will be about four days after grades are due.  

Basic instructor reports (one per section in PDF and CSV formats): Available indefinitely in each instructor’s Canvas Files. Instructors may access these reports by logging into Canvas ( with their Virginia Tech PID and password. Select the “Account” page. Select “Files” from the menu bar on the left. Open the “My Files|EvalReports” folder to view and download the reports.