Photo of students working at a laptop in the learning commons.

Thanks to the efforts of OTLT Enterprise Instructional Technology (EIT) and the support of collegiate administrators and faculty, members of the Class of 2019 may never experience a printed course evaluation form. Assessing the Classroom Environment—better known as “ACE”—forms are now “ACE Online.”

Adopted by nine UI colleges—including the largest, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences—and administered by Evaluation & Exam Service (EES) the streamlined course evaluation system allows students to complete ACE forms on any computer or mobile device. In a recent pilot, UI instructors indicated ACE Online saved them classroom and administrative time; students appreciated the system’s simplicity and confidentiality.  Instructors receive their reports about three days after final grades are due—plenty of time to review student input and consider whether to adapt course content or teaching strategies for the next semester.

“In the past, some instructors worried about a decline in response rates if paper forms were not distributed and collected in class,” says EIT/EES Director Annette Beck. “By allowing time to complete the online forms during class, however, response rates remain relatively high.”

Implementing this and other best practices helps maintain healthy response rates and encourage students to provide honest, meaningful responses. The online approach also benefits the University by potentially reducing costs, enhancing sustainability, and providing graphical data analysis that can facilitate long-range strategic planning.

Learning from students is one of the most enriching aspects of teaching. In addition to the shared learning that occurs in the classroom, instructors also learn from student feedback about courses themselves. ACE Online provides one of a number of ways to assess teaching. To learn about ongoing formative assessment of teaching, contact The Center for Teaching at or 319-335-6048. 


The Office of the Provost anticipates moving ACE evaluations online will provide significant cost savings to the University—as it has at other schools. In 2009, a University of Oregon cost analysis found the school had saved close to $300,000 annually after adopting an online system.