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AEFIS - Frequently Asked Questions (UW-Madison)

AEFIS LLC Assessment, Evaluation, Feedback & Intervention System) is a web-based assessment management solution that facilitates the collection and application of real-time assessment data. AEFIS is used for digital course evaluation surveys at UW with the goal of having all courses using this product by the end of 2018. UW-Madison has entered into a multi-year partnership with AEFIS to provide a campus-wide digital course evaluation survey tool, which is part of a suite of digital learning assessment tools. For more information about the transition, upcoming training sessions and other resources, visit .

Training sessions will be held each semester. If you would like to be notified of training opportunities and become part of the AEFIS Users Group, just email

How-to documents can be found here. Also here is a list of Frequently Asked Technical Questions:

SIS Integration

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

  • With V3.17 (March 27), all students are listed in their enrolled course. AEFIS will show the primary and secondary courses. Primary courses have a chain in a blue circle (meaning primary) and all secondary courses have just the chain. If you want all students to be surveyed, you must assign all courses including secondary courses. 

How often does AEFIS pull data from SIS?

  • AEFIS updates its database nightly with the latest SIS data using the CAOS integration.

My Course information isn't correctly listed in AEFIS

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

Creating and Working with Survey Templates

What instructor will students see on the survey?

  • When the survey is sent out, the words "Primary Instructor" will be replaced with the name of the primary instructor followed by Primary Instructor listed for that section (for instructor type questions).
  • Similarly, the words "Secondary Instructors" will be replaced with names of ALL secondary instructors listed for the section they are enrolled in (for instructor type questions). If there are two secondary instructors it will list the question twice, one for each secondary instructor. If there are no secondary instructors, they will not see that section of the survey. The discussion of Instructor roles is a conversation taking place around the Student Digital Ecosystem. Once Instructor roles are defined at UW, the ability to have different instructor roles within AEFIS will be developed. 

How are primary instructors picked?

  • Instructors are sorted by instructor role, then by campus ID number, older instructors have lowest number, therefore that faculty member becomes primary instructor of course. We realize this formula is not always accurate. However, until Instructor roles are defined at UW, this method is the only possible option. The discussion of Instructor roles is a conversation taking place around the Student Digital Ecosystem. Once Instructor roles are defined at UW, roles will be used to determine who is the primary. 

When can instructors add their questions to the survey?

  • If you have added a "Course Section Questions" question to your survey template, then instructors will be able to add their own questions. Questions must be added and finalized at least one day before survey runs. Questions cannot be added once the survey has started. Instructors and department admins can add course section questions. See the how to guides. 

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

  • The most common way is to 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.

When would it be advantageous to 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.

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

  • You are only allowed to assign two questions as metric questions. If you have recently unassigned a question as metric, it may take the system a few minutes to update and allow you to re-assign a question as metric. You must have at least one metric question. Metric question results display on the faculty dashboard to quickly see a value. 

What are metric questions and how to edit them?

  • Metric questions are numerical questions that will display graphs on the survey results page for easily comparing responses to questions. You are only allowed to assign two questions as metric questions. If you have recently unassigned a question as metric, it may take the system a few minutes to update and allow you to re-assign a question as metric.

I edited a question why is it not updating when saved?

  • There is a delay in updating the question in the system, wait a few minutes and come back to see if the question has updated.

Why isn't my course listed?

  • AEFIS courses are automatically populated from SIS, if the course is not listed in SIS it will not show up in AEFIS. 

How would you know questions are in the question library?

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

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

  • No, it has no numeric value, so it doesn't affect any of the statistics.

Where do you recommend I place the "No Answer" Field?

  • "Prepend" will place it before the answer choices.
  • "Append" will place it at the end.
  • "Prepend" is preferred because then the "no answer" choice is next to the worst answer (instead of next to the best answer) so mis-clicks will have a smaller impact.

Why can't I delete a finalized survey?

  • You cannot get rid of a survey after it has run. We have 
  • If the survey has not run, you need to cancel the schedule, then "Restore" it, and then you will be able to delete it.

Survey Scheduling and Management

I just scheduled a survey, why don't I see any courses to assign?

  • The list of courses you can pick assignments from is not populated immediately after scheduling a survey. It may not be available for up to 3 hours.

How is the "Cancel" button different than the "Stop" in the survey schedule page?

  • Stop --> Don't schedule this survey next semesters, if you just stop it it will continue to run this semester but not next.
  • Cancel --> Don't run this survey right now.

  • Survey Instance

I don't see the survey in the AEFIS System?

  • Your class may not be using AEFIS for course evaluations
  • Survey may already be closed. (And wont be re-opened.)

Who will receive a survey?

  • Each student will receive a survey for each section they are enrolled in.

Where are my surveys from last term?

  • Navigate to : Survey->Survey Scheduler and Results
  • Near the top left you will see two tabs "Active" and "Complete".
  • Click on the "Complete tab"

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

  • The "Assigned Users" User List will not be populated until the survey has been run.

Why do surveys lock before finals week?

  • This is a high level decision that can't be changed.

Can I re-open/extend the survey evaluation period past finals?

  • This can only be done at the Department level (e.g. re-open ALL English Courses) and is a request that would have to be done by the survey admin.

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?

  • You can assign courses after a survey has started, but students will get less time to complete them. There will also be a delay when the course is assigned and when the students receive the invitation.

How do I un-submit a survey so a student can change their answers because they thought the scale was reversed or didn't complete the whole survey.

  • Under the "Assigned Users" User List you will have the option to un-submit a survey that has been completed.

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

Can you Test send a survey email?

  • No

Will students receive an email to my survey?

  • Students will receive an email with a link to AEFIS ( and the homepage will list surveys that they can take.

How many emails will students receive?

  • Students will receive one email invitation for every section they enrolled in if that section is being surveyed. After that they will receive an email reminder every three days. Survey creators have the option of choosing whether students are sent out email invitation and reminders so email frequency may vary.

Survey Results

When are survey results available?

  • The day after final grades are due.

If we are the secondary in the course how do we see the results?

Can I combine survey results for different classes?

  • If both classes used the same survey you can combine results.
  • If classes were assigned to different surveys you need to manually combine them in Excel.
  • If you have questions in the survey library, you can compare results across different surveys that contain that question, which allows questions to be tracked across time, otherwise not possible.

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

    There are two main ways AEFIS is being used.
  • 1) Survey invitations are sent out to students. -> Students fill out surveys outside class
  • 2) In class survey, no survey invitation higher response -> Instructor tells students to bring their internet connected device on a specific day to fill out survey in class.
  • Note: This way results in higher student response, although some class time is taken.

Keywords:faq aefis, online course evaluations, scantron, assessment, evaluation,   Doc ID:49130
Owner:Learning Analytics & Assessment .Group:Learn@UW Madison
Created:2015-03-18 10:13 CSTUpdated:2017-03-16 15:42 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Learn@UW Madison
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