Procedures for Reviewing Student Evaluations of their Learning Experiences

VP&S uses multiple sources of feedback to monitor and improve the quality of the Columbia curriculum. Student evaluations of curricular activities are an essential part of this process, along with input from faculty, administrators and published best practices in education. The Office of Medical Education, the Center for Education Research and Evaluation (CERE) and the curriculum subcommittees (which include student representatives) review anonymous, aggregated evaluation data on an ongoing basis.

Most student evaluations of courses are managed using Oasis or SurveyMonkey, for which students receive evaluation requests by email. Students are required to complete all assigned evaluations. Oasis retains students' responses anonymously and separately lists students who have not completed evaluations. This allows the Office of Education to monitor student completion without sacrificing anonymity.


  • Students complete course evaluations at the end of each course and/or section; evaluations open on the day of the final exam and are usually due before exam scores/ grades are released. In Foundations of Clinical Medicine and Psychiatric Medicine, students also complete mid-semester evaluations.
  • Students also complete evaluations of faculty at variable intervals, depending upon the course and/or section, as part of the course evaluations.
  • Faculty and administration review the results of these evaluations after exam scores/grades are submitted.

Major Clinical Year:

  • Students complete clerkship evaluations at the end of each clerkship, usually within a two-week period. Clerkship directors cannot review the anonymous evaluations until after they have submitted final clerkship grades. This is called the evaluation quarantine.
  • Three weeks after the end of the clerkship, CERE reviews aggregate reports of clerkship evaluations with class presidents and Deans Drusin, Amiel, and Mellman to identify any areas of concern. However, these reviewers wait to take any action regarding those concerns until after the evaluation quarantine has ended.
  • After the evaluation quarantine ends, clerkship directors may access de-identified evaluations directly through NI.
  • Please note that while student feedback submitted through NI evaluations is systematically de-identified and quarantined, at times students provide feedback to clerkship directors through other methods (e.g., email, "exit interviews," paper evaluations) which do not have the same guarantee of being de-identified nor quarantined.

Differentiation and Integration:

  • Students complete evaluations of elective experiences on a monthly basis using SurveyMonkey. Evaluation emails are sent to students at the end of the elective month and are due on the 15th of the following month, though evaluations remain open and can be completed after the due date. Depending on students’ elective enrollment for the month, they answer questions specific to Back-to-the-classroom courses, clinical or non-clinical electives, away electives, or scholarly projects.
  • To protect student confidentiality, faculty are able to review anonymous, aggregated evaluation results of electives (including up to three years in one report) only after the release of match results for the graduating class and only if there is more than one evaluation completed in the past three years and a total of three or more students enrolled.
  • Dean Amiel reviews scholarly project progress reports on a monthly basis. These are not anonymous. If students raise concerns in their progress reports, Dean Amiel discusses them directly with the student to develop a plan for addressing their concerns.

Approved by Fundamentals Subcommittee 6/13/13

Approved by MCY Subcommittee 6/5/13

Approved by Evaluation Subcommittee 6/19/13

Approved by Curriculum and Education Policy Committee 6/28/13

Updated for Oasis 7/29/14