Anonymity and Etiquette
At BYU Student Ratings, our goal is to protect your privacy as a student while gathering your constructive feedback to help our instructors improve. Therefore, we take certain measures to provide anonymity so you can feel comfortable being open without potentially jeopardizing grades or valuable faculty relationships due to your responses.
However, at BYU we strive to "maintain the highest standards in [our] personal conduct regarding...consideration of others" as written in the Honor Code. Therefore, we encourage you to be respectful in your online conduct as your comments reflect your character as a student and member of the university community.
If you have concerns about your courses or professors that extend beyond the scope of student ratings, please contact .... .
Anonymity and Etiquette - FAQ
Toggle ItemYou know who I am when I submit my rating. How do you keep the instructor from knowing who I am?
Yes, we know who submitted the data. In fact, if you so desire, we can tell your instructor you completed the rating. However, your name will never be associated with any information you submit, unless you specifically put your name in the comments. When reports are released, your name will not be displayed. Additionally, we only report summary data (averages, standard deviations, and counts) to faculty and administrators. We never report the responses of one particular student.
Toggle ItemI’ve heard it is very easy for instructors to know who submitted a particular rating. Is this true?
It is true in very, very small courses (3 students or less). But unless there is only one student in the class, the instructor will have to figure it out by guessing. All data collected is reported statistically in averages for the entire section and how many students marked each response. All comments for the section are grouped together and are displayed in random order. Even if you specified your name in the comments, the instructor would only know what you wrote in the comments. They would not be able to figure out your responses to the other questions.
Toggle ItemI’ve heard the system has been compromised. I’m not completing ratings because they are not safe.
We've heard that too! However, we haven't found any evidence and nobody has proved it. We have investigated each compromise report we have received only to find vague responses and incorrect assumptions. For example, the most credible report we received went something like this:
The comments a student wrote in a class assignment were similar to the comments he/she later wrote in the student rating. A few days after completing the rating, the instructor approached the student about the student's concerns. When the student saw the instructor directly address the student's concern, the student assumed the confidentiality of his/her rating was compromised. After speaking with the instructor, the instructor confirmed he/she knew about the student's concern because the student had written the comment in a class assignment for the instructor to read. In this case, the student provided comments directly to the instructor and through the ratings system. When the instructor followed up with the student, the student quickly assumed the ratings data had been compromised, forgetting that he/she had already provided that same comment directly to the instructor in a previous occasion.