Frequently Asked Questions

Students need to use their student ID (the one that goes with their "[email protected]" email address) UNLESS they are current employees with an employee network ID (e.g."[email protected]") in which case they should use that ID.

Login errors are occasionally due to an incorrect URL being shared.  All students within a course section can use the same URL to access the questionnaire, but if they follow a link for another course that they're not enrolled in (or for the faculty portal), they will be denied access.  Please make sure any link that is posted or forwarded is the correct one for the section being addressed.

All instructors access their own course's material through the same URL --  Some faculty have had trouble getting in when they mistakenly used the link to the questionnaire itself (which faculty can't get into because they're not enrolled in the class) instead of the faculty portal link.


Faculty members can view their own reports (once the semester is over and grades are posted) by logging in to the faculty portal -- Instructions for viewing and printing the reports are available in the Faculty User Guide.

Administrators and LIFT Coordinators can access reports for their unit(s) via the administrative portal --  Instructions are available in the Coordinator User Guide.

Beginning in Winter 2016, the LIFT system should be used in all courses and by all faculty with the following exceptions:

  • For courses with fewer than 10 students enrolled, LIFT is optional, at the discretion of the department/school.
  • Faculty members facing a personnel decision before January 2019 may request a temporary exemption from the requirement to use LIFT if they believe their case would be detrimentally affected by changing evaluation instruments midstream. The decision should be made jointly by the faculty member, Unit Head, and Dean, and is contingent on the continuing availability of the prior evaluation system. This exemption cannot be exercised after the fall 2018 semester.

The election of forms for each course should be made at the department/school level.  It is expected that all sections of a particular course that share an instruction format will share an evaluation form.  (E.g. two lab sections of the same course should not use different questionnaires.)  Note that the Online Education Committee requires a particular form (W1- "GVSU Distance Ed") for all online and hybrid course sections.

A list of the available forms is available here.

No.  The GVSU University Academic Senate has only approved the use of standard LIFT forms (with or without additional questions).  The possibility of and guidelines for deletion and modification of questions will have to await UAS consideration in the future.

Yes. At the department or school's discretion, it may be possible to adjust the timing of individual course sections' evaluation periods.  A critical factor is the workload of the unit's LIFT Coordinator, the clerical staff member who has to manage the schedule.  Units should consider the Coordinator's workload in determining how much customization of dates can be supported.

If a course section's meeting pattern dictates that the evaluations should occur significantly earlier than the last few weeks of the term, then that schedule should be accommodated, and the unit's LIFT Coordinator should contact the Office of Institutional Analysis at least 1 week before the evaluation period begins, to arrange for an up-to-date course roster to be uploaded.

Individual instructors can add questions to their forms after the evaluations have been scheduled by their unit's LIFT Coordinator.  Instructions for adding questions can be found in this document or in the Faculty User's Guide.

GVSU's University Academic Senate recommends that all classes that have in-person meeting times dedicate some time during one of those in-person sessions for students to complete their LIFT questionnaires.  Students should be notified in advance so they can bring appropriate electronic devices.  Of course students who do not have a capable device should be encouraged to respond, and should not be made to feel self-conscious about inability to complete LIFT during the in-class time.

In general, instructors should prepare their students to participate constructively in LIFT.  Let your students know that the invitations will come via email, that they are expected to give thoughtful feedback, and that their responses are used to make meaningful decisions about curriculum, pedagogy, and personnel.  Once the questionnaire is open, it is helpful to provide the link to students through an alternate channel, such as Blackboard or a personal email.  However, take care to post/forward the correct link, since sending people to an incorrect link is counterproductive.

Many instructors have found it beneficial to offer either a group-based or individual incentive to participation.  A group-based incentive might be triggered by the entire section achieving a certain completion rate, and the reward would be given to every student in the section.  Individual incentives require the instructor to know which particular students completed questionnaires, and only those students would be rewarded.  GVSU does not have an official policy forbidding or condoning either of these practices.  In particular, instructors should not offer individual incentives without consulting first with their department to determine (a) whether the faculty finds the practice to be ethically appropriate, and (b) whether the LIFT Coordinator will be able to provide the list of individual completers (faculty members cannot access this information themselves).

Yes.  The generally accepted practice is for the faculty member being evaluated to leave the room, but it would be appropriate for another individual to "proctor" the LIFT time, to prevent students from inappropriately influencing each others' responses.

Each instructor has access to their own results to use for formative evaluation of their own performance.  In addition, departments or schools can use the results to assess curriculum, to collect information required for accreditation or planning, and to evaluate faculty performance.  Academic units have discretion in how LIFT results contribute to personnel processes, but UAS provides the following guidance:

  • Student evaluations should contribute no more than 1/3 of the information considered in a faculty member's teaching evaluation
  • All parts of LIFT responses may be considered appropriate material to be considered in personnel decisions, BUT faculty members may request that specific content that is unfairly prejudicial be redacted before such consideration.

At the department or school's discretion, a faculty member may request a list of completers from the unit's LIFT Coordinator, for the purpose of awarding individual incentives for completion.  The Coordinator can only produce such a list after the evaluation period is closed, and only if there are at least 5 students in the section who completed the questionnaire.

At least initially, GVSU is adhering to IASystem's protocols for email distribution, which entail several email messages per course section for both instructors and students.  We will monitor participation rates and user feedback to determine whether the amount of messaging can be reduced without hampering the effectiveness of the system.

Students can reduce the number of messages they receive by responding promptly -- once they complete a questionnaire, they will be excluded from reminder messages.

LIFT course reports will be available on the faculty portal indefinitely.  Through that portal, each individual instructor can view/download/print their own reports.  Those reports are also accessible to the Chair or Director of the unit and their designees, and to the unit's LIFT Coordinator(s).

In addition to the persistent reports within the LIFT portal, each unit should develop and follow its own policy about the creation, retention, and dissemination of local copies for unit records and personnel deliberations.  It is anticipated that existing (pre-LIFT) policies exist in most units and will require little modification to incorporate LIFT results.

Page last modified January 25, 2016