HelioCampus AC - Eval - Frequently Asked Questions (Admin) [UW-Madison]

This document provides answers to frequently asked questions about HelioCampus AC evaluations

UW-Madison has entered into a multi-year partnership with HelioCampus AC to provide and manage digital, web-based course evaluation surveys. For more information about the transition, upcoming training sessions and other resources, review the Course Evaluation Surveys page on the Student Learning Assessment website.

Training sessions will be held each semester for college/department HelioCampus AC administrators. If you would like to be notified of training opportunities and become part of the department admin HelioCampus AC Users Group, email Learnuwsupport@wisc.edu.

Learn@UW-Madison maintains several support and how-to documents on the UW-Madison KnowledgeBase. Click here to view those documents.

In the next sections you can find our most common HelioCampus AC questions; organized by topic.


Course Section Details and SIS Integration

When is a term/semester added to HelioCampus AC?

Terms are generally added to HelioCampus AC one week after enrollment begins. Please refer to Dates & Deadlines from the Office of the Registrar for enrollment dates.

Why isn't my course listed?

HelioCampus AC courses are automatically populated from SIS. If the course is not listed in SIS it will not show up in HelioCampus AC.

Why isn’t My Course information correctly listed in HelioCampus AC?

HelioCampus AC lists student and course data directly from SIS. Please check that the information is correctly listed in SIS and wait for the nightly SIS->HelioCampus AC update cycle.

How often does HelioCampus AC pull data from SIS?

HelioCampus AC updates its database nightly with the latest SIS data using the CAOS integration. Updates must be in SIS by 4pm to ensure they are included in the nightly update into HelioCampus AC.

How do I fix incorrectly listed instructors?

All instructors are pulled from SIS. If an instructor or TA is incorrect, check SIS and update. Any changes to SIS are updated to HelioCampus AC each day after 4:00pm.

How do I view additional Instructors?

In HelioCampus AC click on Menu > Course Sections > Home. Additional instructors will be listed at the bottom of the Course Details if any are available.

How are "Cross-Listed" and "Meets With" course sections handled?

All students are listed in the course section in which they enrolled.

For cross-listed courses:

  • HelioCampus AC displays the primary course section in the department that owns it and also displays all secondary courses.
  • HelioCampus AC displays the secondary course sections in BOTH 1) the department that owns the secondary section, and 2) in the department that owns the primary section.
  • HelioCampus AC displays the primary course section with a chain-link icon, accompanied by a square with a number in it. (The number indicates the number of cross-listed sections.)
  • HelioCampus AC displays the secondary course sections with just the chain-link icon (without a square and number).
  • The department that owns the primary course section is expected to include all secondary course sections in its surveys. When assigning courses to a HelioCampus AC survey, the HelioCampus AC departmental administrator should select the primary course section. In doing so, HelioCampus AC automatically assigns all the secondary course sections to the same survey.
  • The departments that own the secondary course sections should not include those course sections in their surveys. (Doing so would cause students enrolled in the secondary course section(s) to receive two course evaluations -- one from both departments.)

For meets with courses:

  • HelioCampus AC displays the "meets with" course sections only in the department that owns each course section.
  • Each department is expected to include their own "meets with" course sections in their own course evaluations.

Survey Forms

Which instructor will students see on the survey?

When the survey is sent out, the words "Instructor" will be replaced with the name of the instructors listed for that section (for instructor-type questions). If there are two instructors, the question is listed twice, once for each instructor. Instructors may be excluded when the survey is assigned. For example, if a separate TA survey is used, the tenure faculty should be manually excluded from that survey by the HelioCampus AC administrator. This process is explained in this KB article. . All Supervisory instructors (as listed in SIS) are called “Course Section Directors” in HelioCampus AC and will NOT be included in the evaluation, though listed.

When can instructors add their (course section) questions to the survey?

If you have added a Rollup Questions Placeholder question to your survey template, then instructors will be able to add their own additional questions. For course section questions to be included in the survey, they must be published at least one day before the survey starts. Questions cannot be added once the survey has started. Instructors and department admins can add course section questions. Directions are found in the following two KBs:

These questions can be added at any point in the semester. However, if no survey is assigned to that course, these questions will not be used.

How can I create and edit questions?

Survey Types

How do I create different surveys for lecture (faculty) and discussion/lab sections (TAs)?

It is up to your department. Some departments use the same course evaluation survey for all sections. Other departments create two separate survey templates, one for Instructors and one for TAs.

What is the difference between a "Student course evaluation" and "Faculty Course evaluation" Survey Type?

Student survey types are surveys that go to students. Faculty survey types are surveys that go to faculty. At UW-Madison, we use almost exclusively the Student Course Evaluation, and we do not use the “Faculty Course Evaluation”.

Why can't I delete a finalized survey?

Once a HelioCampus AC survey has run its course and been completed, it cannot be deleted. That data is considered protected.

Question Types

When should I use the Question Library?

If you plan to use a question in multiple surveys, you should save the question to your library to be able to quickly access it in the future. For information and instruction on using the HelioCampus AC “question library”, refer to this link to the HelioCampus Customer Support space.

How do you know when questions are in the question library?

There will be a green book icon on the bottom right of the question window on the question editor.

What are metric questions, and how do I edit them?

Each survey template can possess a maximum of two metrics. These metrics are composed of existing questions. A metric can be a single question, or a combination of several or all questions. However, each survey question can only be added to one metric. For example, there are five questions about course content and you want to average all together, create a metric for this average. The two metrics also display on the faculty HelioCampus AC dashboard for quick viewing.

I cannot add a metric question even if there are metrics assigned, what should I do?

HelioCampus AC metrics are governed by two overarching rules:

  1. Only question types with quantifiable responses can be added to a metric. For example, a “multi-choice, single answer” question can be added to a metric; a “text/memo” question can not be added to the metric. 
  2. Only questions with a matching number of responses can be added to a given metric.
  3. Any qualified question can be assigned to only one metric.

If you have recently unassigned a question from a metric, it may take the system a few minutes to update and allow you to re-assign that question to another metric. Metric question results display on the faculty dashboard to quickly see a value.

Does the "No Answer" option have weight attached to it?

No, it has no numeric value, as long as you added the “No Answer” Option (image below). Do not add “No answer” as an extra option in the list of available responses.
The "no answer" dropdown menu has three options: "do not show", "prepend", and "append".

Where should I place the "No Answer" Field?

Either choose Prepend to place it before the answer choices, or Append to place it at the end. Each school, college, or department will decide for itself which option to select.

Survey Schedules

What is the difference between Pause and Stop in the survey schedule page (Actions>Pause/Stop)?

  • Stop → When you Stop a survey schedule, it will continue to run during the current semester. But, it will not run next semester.
  • Pause → When you Pause a survey schedule, it will not run again until you return and start it; it temporarily stops the survey schedule. A common use case: f you do not want to have a survey generated for summer, but you do want the survey running every spring and fall, you can pause it after the spring survey is created and start it again in the fall.

What is the difference between schedule and survey?

The survey schedule tells HelioCampus AC which survey template should run during which semester(s). When the survey schedule is published, it generates the survey. (Note: The survey is actually called the survey instance, and is accessed through Survey Manager)

The survey is a semester-specific iteration of the survey template, as determined by the survey schedule. HelioCampus AC administrators need to assign course sections to the survey instance. The survey instance is what gets distributed to the students enrolled in those assigned course sections.

What is the difference between schedule and survey?

The survey schedule tells HelioCampus AC which survey template should run during which semester(s). When the survey schedule is published, it generates the survey. (Note: The survey is actually called the survey instance.)

The survey is a semester-specific iteration of the survey template, as determined by the survey schedule. HelioCampus AC administrators need to assign course sections to the survey instance. The survey instance is what gets distributed to the students enrolled in those assigned course sections.

Survey Instance

Why don't I see my survey in HelioCampus AC?

One common reason for not seeing a desired survey instance is that a filter has been turned on in the HelioCampus survey dashboard. Remove any filters, and check again.

Otherwise, since a survey instance is generated from a survey schedule, the problem may reside with the underlying survey schedule. Maybe a survey schedule has not yet been created. Maybe, the survey schedule has been created, but has not yet been published.

Or, more likely, a survey schedule has been created and published, but it hasn’t been set up properly to generate a survey instance for this semester. To explain, a survey schedule can be set to “run each semester”. If this setting is turned on, survey instances will be automatically generated when the semester is activated by our UW-Madison campus administrator.

If this “run each semester” setting has not been turned on for a given survey schedule, then the survey instance will not be automatically generated. In this case, the HelioCampus AC admin will need to either:

  1. Edit the survey schedule, and turn this setting “On”, or
  2. Generate a new survey schedule.

How do I exclude Instructors from being surveyed?

The “Exclude Instructors” option will work only if the underlying survey template contains instructor-type questions.

To exclude an instructor, follow the instructions found in this KB article. select the main HelioCampus main menu, and select Survey Manager. Locate the survey in question, and select the Manage button navigate to the survey of interest.If the section with the instructor-to-exclude has already been assigned to the survey, select the 

All supervisory instructors listed in SIS are listed in HelioCampus AC as Course Section Directors. These instructors will be automatically excluded from evaluations by HelioCampus AC. Therefore, they do NOT need to be manually excluded.

Where are my surveys from last term?

From the HelioCampus AC main menu, select Survey Manager. In the survey manager dashboard, apply a Term filter.

Navigate to : Surveys->Surveys and filter by term.

Why can't I see any assigned users in my survey?

Survey Participants list will not be populated until the survey begins. On the day the survey starts, the number of students enrolled in all course sections assigned are populated.

Can I reopen/extend the survey evaluation period past finals?

As a department or college HelioCampus AC administrator, you can reopen or extend the survey. However, the survey extends for all assigned courses in that specific survey instance. If a student misses the survey window and wants to complete, it is best to open the survey up for a few hours so the reminder emails are not sent.

How can I preview my Survey?

How can I preview my Survey?

You can preview a survey either from Forms or Surveys (survey instance)

  1. Open Survey Manager

  2. Locate the survey and select Manage

  3. Select Export and then select Survey Form Preview

Illustration of steps required to preview an HelioCampus AC survey

How can I preview a survey based on a specific course section?

You can also see how a survey appears to students, depending on the course and section. After you open the survey form preview (following the instructions above):

  1. Select Actions and Apply Course Data

  2. Next, select the course and section to view the survey. 
    Select the course section from the dropdown menu that appears

  3. HelioCampus AC will display what the student sees when completing the survey evaluation.

When do surveys close?

Surveys close at midnight on the day selected for the end date.

Can you assign a course to a survey after the survey started?

Yes. You can assign course sections after a survey has started. Those students will be notified that night by email that a course survey is available to complete.

How do I un-submit a survey?

Under the Survey Participants list, in the drop down menu, you will have the option to un-submit a survey that has been completed.

Notifications and Email

Who will receive a survey email?

Each student will receive one generic email per survey start date. So if the student has five courses starting today, they will receive one email. Every three days they will receive a reminder until either the survey is taken or ends. 

How does the "Email Preview" work?

Email Preview takes a random student and shows you what the actual email that will be sent to that student looks like. You will not be able to use this option until you have assigned a course to the survey because it needs a list of students to pull data from.

What is the Email Queue Manager?

The Email Queue Manager keeps copies of actual emails sent out to students. However, many emails are listed "on Hold" because students only receive one generic email. If they have five evaluations starting today, only one email is sent and four are listed as “On Hold”.

Can you send a test survey or a test survey email?

No, HelioCampus AC does not have these functions.

Will students receive an email to my survey?

No, students will receive an email with a link to HelioCampus AC (heliocampusac.wisc.edu) and their dashboard will list surveys that they can take.

How many emails will students receive?

Students will receive one generic email the day the survey starts. After the initial email, students will receive an email reminder every three days.

What URL/link can students use to access my survey?

Students can find the survey by navigating to heliocampusac.wisc.edu. It will appear under Action Items once the survey has started.

Survey Results & Reports

When are survey results available?

Four days after final grades are due to accommodate the 72-hour extended grading deadline that faculty may be granted for exams scheduled during the last three exam days.

My survey response is very low, how do you recommend I run my surveys?

Check out the Student Learning Assessment best practice for course evaluation website. Achieving higher response rates includes giving time in class, discussing the purpose and importance, instructors should share how they have incorporated feedback into their course, and more.

What does Complete surveys mean in the report parameters?

Completed surveys are not individual surveys, but are completed survey instances. If a survey status is in progress or pending results, it will not be in the results when this option is checked. Submitted individual surveys are the only items that are ever seen in results. For example, if a student only partially completes an evaluation but does not submit it, the results are not in the reports.

Keywordsfaq aefis, online course evaluations, scantron, assessment, evaluation, test,   Doc ID49130
OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2015-03-18 11:13:20Updated2024-06-19 16:22:58
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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