User Guide

CourseEvalHQ logo

CourseEval HQ is an LTI (Learning Tool Interoperability) external application that integrates tightly with Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) and provides an easy-to-use and powerful course evaluation functionality. The application operates seamlessly with Canvas for efficient creation and distribution of student evaluations campus-wide, within a division, or for a single course. It provides the necessary anonymity and confidentiality to administer student evaluations and set up course observations.

Setting Up Your CourseEval HQ Account

CourseEval HQ evaluations are created via your top-level Canvas account or any sub-account, depending on which courses you have rights to manage as the campus LMS administrator. To set up CourseEval HQ, you will be provided a launch URL, secret, and key to add the app to your Canvas Admin account.

Once added to your Canvas admin account, CourseEval HQ allows you to create surveys, distribute them to courses, manage survey settings, view the progress of the distributed student surveys, and download statistics. The list of the surveys is filtered by term (semester, quarter or session), with the most recent being the default.

Creating Surveys

A single standard course evaluation survey can be designed and distributed campus-wide. Or, if different departments and programs within your institution use different surveys, unique ones for each department, division, or school can be designed.  Once a survey is created it can be redistributed to new courses from term to term. All you need to adjust is the delivery dates, recipient of results, or observers (optional).

To get started, click on Create Survey on the right, provide a title for your survey, add custom instructions (if desired) and add your questions.

Create new survey

You may choose to allow students to add comments in objective questions. If this option is checked, students will be presented with a textbox to add comments.

option for students to add comments on objective questions

CourseEval HQ features a range of standard pre-designed Likert-scale survey questions that will fit most situations. Users have the ability to create short answer and custom question items as well.

question types

Survey questions can be re-ordered using drag and drop.

Sorting questions with drag and drop

Once you’ve added all your questions, click Save and your survey is ready to be distributed to courses.



Managing Surveys

Under “Manage Surveys,” you can preview, editduplicateexport, or delete a survey by simply clicking on the respective icons on the menu.

To edit the questions of a course evaluation survey, click on Manage Surveys on the right, and then click on the Edit icon (pencil) by the survey. In addition to adjusting the language of the questions, you can change the question types, add new ones or delete any that are no longer needed. The new version of the survey will be available when distributing course evaluations to new courses. The original version of a survey that is tied to distributed evaluations is not affected by significant revisions to the text of questions. The integrity of the original survey questions and responses is preserved. When downloading the raw data of survey results (See Download Results), you have the option to preview the survey that was distributed.

The coordinator can delete a survey from a course if it was added by mistake or if it had errors. However, if a survey is deleted from a course, its submissions will be deleted, as well.

Importing Surveys

​You can author a survey offline in plain text and import it into CourseEvaHQ by clicking on “Import Survey” under Manage Surveys.

View a sample survey (in plain text) that can be imported into the application.

Refer to the following document for the import format specifications.


Distributing Evaluations

CourseEval HQ enables campus LMS administrators or Distance Education (DE) coordinators to distribute student surveys to courses that are scheduled to be evaluated, without ever entering the courses.

To distribute an evaluation to one or more published courses, click on “Distribute Evaluations” on the right menu of the CourseEval HQ app under the root account or a sub-account.

CourseEvalHQ menu for distributing evals

Note: You may distribute more than one survey in a course. For example, there may be cases where instructors or campuses wish to administer pre and post course evaluations or want to survey students about a particular topic. If more than one survey is open at the same time in a course, students are provided with navigation buttons to progress to additional surveys. Further, they are informed in the “What’s Next?” steps that multiple surveys are available in the course.

Choose the survey and the course (or courses) to distribute it to. Only published courses within the selected term’s dates are listed. You cannot distribute surveys to closed courses (end date in the past) or unpublished courses that may have no rosters or no teacher yet, as they could not get notifications, etc.

There are three options in selecting courses to distribute evaluations to.

1) Selecting one or more courses. 

Click inside the “Courses” text field. The available published courses will be displayed.

Click on a course to select it. Continue clicking on course titles to select more than one. You may also hold the CTRL key down to keep the list open and click on all the courses where the survey must be distributed into.

select courses to distribute evaluations to

If you are interested in selecting courses for a specific department, you can narrow down your search fast. Just type the first few letters of the subject (i.e. MATH, ENGL, etc. or a section #, if you include these on course titles.) and only courses that match will be listed. The more precise your text, the narrower the list of courses that will be displayed. This is a great function, if you need to find specific courses from 1,000’s in your Canvas instance.

sensitive search

2) Selecting all courses in the default term.

If you plan to conduct student evaluations in all the courses in the term, click on “Select All Courses” and distribute a survey to all courses at once.

select all courses

If you will distribute a large number of evaluations, plan in advance, as it can take several hours to distribute thousands of evaluations. You can continue to work in CourseEval HQ while surveys are being distributed.

3) Using the Course Upload SIS IDs feature to distribute a large number of evaluations.

If you plan to distribute evaluations to many courses, but not all, you may use the “Upload Course SIS IDs” feature. Prepare a CSV file that lists the course SIS IDs in one column, with one course ID in each row.

upload course SIS IDs

Dates and Settings

Once you’ve selected the courses, you need to specify when you’d like the survey to open and close in the course(s).

Dates are required!

Course Evaluation dates

In addition to defining open and close dates, there are a few optional settings in this section:

Settings (optional)

  • You can specify if the survey should be restricted only to officially registered students (those with an official student ID in the LMS account). By default, this is checked.
  • You can choose to have CourseEval HQ add an announcement, a ‘feedback’ module and an assignment automatically in the course, with a link to the survey. By default, these options are pre-checked when distributing surveys to courses, as adding a module, assignment, and announcement can increase participation. Students are more likely to bump into the survey and complete it.
  • The ‘feedback’ module that gets added includes the ‘view’ requirement, by default, in order to be considered complete. instructors can then set a prerequisite in the modules and require students to complete the survey prior to continuing on with another task. This further automates the process, and can greatly increase participation and response rates to your student evaluations.”Viewing” a survey is considered being completed, as students have the right to not answer any questions. Like in the traditional classroom, they can hand in a survey with no responses, if they choose.

Feedback module

  • If a course has more than one section, you will be given the option to limit the survey to students in one or more sections.

limit survey to specific sections


When an evaluation survey is added to a course, the instructor is notified via a message in his or her Canvas in-box, that an evaluation was added in their course, as well as its duration, and the confidentiality and anonymity of the process. Depending on their notification preferences, instructors may also receive a copy of the message in the email address associated with their Canvas account.

Sample message notification to instructors:

Your course “Intro to Biology” is scheduled for evaluation.

This involves an anonymous course evaluation survey. Student responses remain confidential, and are distributed only to authorized recipients.

The survey will be available to students from the “Course Evaluation” navigation link in your course. If this link is not visible, please enable it from “Settings > Navigations” in your course.

To increase the response rate, a module was added to your course with a link to the survey. Please position it among your modules, and consider making it a prerequisite to other modules to encourage student participation.

You can view the survey questions and see course evaluation progress by clicking on the “Course Evaluation” navigation link.

The survey will be open to students from Wed, Oct 12, 8:00 AM through Fri, Oct 14, 11:59 PM (PDT)

Results of the survey will be sent to:

This message was sent from CourseEval HQ.

Once you’ve added all the necessary information and click on Distribute, the survey will be added to the selected course(s) on the left menu, and in Modules, assignments and announcement only if you left these options checked.

All the course members will be notified when the survey opens.

Sample message notification to students when survey opens:

Help us know how we are doing! Please take a few moments to complete a brief evaluation survey for your course “Intro to Information Systems.”

Click here to fill out the survey:  [The direct URL to the survey is included here]

Make sure to complete the survey before it closes on Fri, Nov 11, 8:59 PM (PST). Your answers will remain completely anonymous and confidential.

You can also find the survey in your course, by clicking on the “Course Evaluation” link in the Course Menu or in your course Modules.

Your feedback gives us insight on how students are experiencing the course, and ways to improve. Thank you for contributing!

This message was sent from CourseEval HQ.

Adding Result Recipients

Next, you can add email addresses for authorized individuals who should receive the results of the survey when it closes. If you have multiple recipients, click on the + icon to add additional recipients’ email addresses. You have the option to include custom instructions to the recipients of the results (i.e. how to distribute them).

where to send results to (add email addresses)

Results recipients receive an email message notifying them that they will be receiving the data, along with any custom instructions that you entered during the setup.

As part of an evaluation in course “Cost Accounting,” you have been authorized to receive the student survey results.

You will receive an email containing the results once the survey closes on Fri, Oct 14, 11:59 PM (PDT).

This message was sent from CourseEval HQ.

On the date that the survey closes, they will receive the results in PDF format. The survey results are organized in three sections, if applicable: Objective Questions, Subjective Questions, and Comments. See example of PDF file with results (Instructor name and data is fake)



The application allows you to add observers to courses for a specific period of time for the purpose of a course observation. Observers must have accounts in the LMS prior to being added to a course for an observation. Typically, one observer conducts a classroom evaluation, but more can be added, if needed (i.e. peer, department chair, etc.).

add observers for classroom visitation

When observers are scheduled for a course, they get an email message (on the email they have registered in Canvas), informing them that they were added to a specific course. When the close date arrives, they are removed from the course, automatically.  Coordinators have the option to include custom instructions to observers. If included, these instructions are embedded in the email notification that observers receive.

Sample message notification to observers:

As part of an evaluation, you have been scheduled to observe course “Intro to Biology” from Thu, Oct 13, 8:00 AM through Fri, Oct 14, 11:59 PM (PDT)

You will be added to the course as an “observer” for that period.

This message was sent from CourseEval HQ.

Observers are limited to the permissions of the ‘observer’ role of Canvas LMS that allow them to view what is happening in a course without interrupting the flow of daily course communication and activities.


Student View

Only students can take the evaluation survey. Teaching assistants, guests, observers and the instructor cannot.

Students can access and complete the survey and change their answers as long as it is still open. They are informed about the progress of the survey, days remaining before it closes, how many questions they have not yet answered, etc. A graph helps students see visually how much of the survey they have completed.

Custom instructions, if included by the Coordinator, are presented to them at the top of the survey, along with a clear statement on the anonymity of their answers.

student view

Additionally, students are informed about next steps, at the bottom of the survey page.

Next steps for students

If multiple surveys are open in a course, information is provided about that in the “What’s Next?” instruction, along with navigation buttons to progress to additional surveys. The navigation buttons are also included at the top of the page for convenience.   

Once the survey closes, it is removed from the course, and all references to it (i.e. link on left menu of the course, feedback module, assignment, and announcement, if they had been enabled).

Coordinators can preview the student view of the survey by clicking on the view icon at the menu, or by visiting the course (if the survey is still open).


Modifying Course Evaluation Settings

You may return to a distributed survey’s settings to adjust the dates, observers and recipients of the results at any time. To do so, just click on the settings icon of the survey’s menu.

edit settings




Deleting Distributed Course Evaluations

Once an evaluation survey has been distributed to a course, that copy of the survey cannot be revised. However, the coordinator can delete a survey from a course by clicking on the trash icon by the menu of a survey from the main hub of CourseEval HQ.

delete survey

It will remove the survey from the course and any existing student-submitted data. To preserve the integrity of the evaluation process, deleting a survey from a course should only happen in the event of a major error. A new survey can be redistributed to the course.

If you distributed a large number of evaluations in error, you can delete evaluations in bulk by clicking on “Delete Evaluations” on the right menu. Prior to clicking on “Delete Evaluations,” you may narrow down the list of evaluations by using the sort / filter options to show completed, in-progress, or waiting.

delete evaluations in bulk

Select the course evaluations you wish to delete and click on Delete.

delete course evals in bulk

Please be careful when performing this action. Deleting course evaluations removes them from the course and discards all submissions from the survey. This action cannot be undone.




Sending Results

When an evaluation closes, results are sent automatically to the authorized individuals, as set during the survey distribution.

You may also choose to send results to teachers when the evaluation closes. Just check the box in settings.

send results to teachers

To resend the results to authorized recipients, click on the mail icon on the menu and then on “Send”.

From this view, you may change the results recipients or add additional email addresses, separated by commas.

resend results

This option is available only after a course evaluation is closed and results were sent.



Reminders to Students

While monitoring the progress of course evaluations, if any of them are nearing their close date and the response rate is low, you can send a reminder to students with a couple of clicks!

To send a reminder only to students in a specific course, click on the ‘mail’ icon from the main view of a distributed course evaluation.

click on mail icon

Then, click on the “Remind” icon.

Remind students

To send reminders to students in ALL open course evaluations, click on the “Remind Students” function on the right menu.

Remind students in all open surveys

Then, make the appropriate selection and click on “Remind”.

remind students

Students will get a reminder message in Conversations in Canvas, encouraging them to take the survey. Here is a sample message:

Help us know how we are doing! Please take a few moments to complete a brief evaluation survey for your course “Intro to Information Systems.”

Click here to fill out your survey: [The direct URL to the survey is included here]

32% of students have completed the survey so far. Complete yours to help make that 100%.

Make sure to complete the survey before it closes on Fri, Nov 11, 8:59 PM (PST). Your answers will remain completely anonymous and confidential.

You can also find the survey in your course, by clicking on the “Course Evaluation” link in the Course Menu or in your course Modules.

Your feedback gives us insight on how students are experiencing the course, and ways to improve. Thank you for contributing!

This message was sent from CourseEval HQ.

Click on Done to close the window.



Downloading Results

Click on Download Results on the right menu to export statistics from your completed evaluations. Two types of data is available to download:

  1. Download Response Rates — Click on the download icon to export a spreadsheet listing basic information for each course evaluation in the term, including the student response rate. This feature allows you to conveniently download, save, analyze, print and distribute the data in a CSV file. Below is a screen shot of a sample response rates file:response rates sample
  2. Download Submissions— Click on the download icon to the right of a specific survey to export a spreadsheet of all submission data for all evaluations that used the survey in the term. This feature allows you to download raw answers for each survey question, across all the courses that used it. (see sample screen shot)When downloading submissions, you have the option to export the data with the actual textual responses or you may export the data with numeric equivalent values for the responses to the standard Likert-scale questions used in the survey. The latter allows you to analyze the results easy in Excel or other programs.

  Previewing Distributed Surveys

The integrity of surveys at the time of distribution is always preserved. To see which survey version was used for a specific set of submissions, click on the ‘view’ icon.

preview survey used

Downloading Results for a Specific Term

To change the term whose results you want to export via the drop-down menu provided at the top of the page. By default, the current term is listed.

choose term

Set Options

Under “Set Options” (right menu of CourseEval HQ), you have the ability to set your default preferences to be used across the evaluations that you distribute. This way, you don’t have to check or uncheck boxes every time you distribute evaluations.

Click on “Save” to store your preferences.

set options

You may change these settings for one or more evaluations at the individual level, optionally.

Please note that you must set these options before you distribute evaluations in order for them to be applied to subsequent ones. Changing the options after you distribute evaluations will not be applied to already distributed surveys – only to future evaluations.


Filtering and Sorting

If you have distributed a large number of course evaluations, the sorting and filtering functionality can assist you in reviewing a subset of evaluations.

You can filter by not yet open, in progress or completed evaluations, by clicking on the appropriate button at the top right.

filtering course evaluations

You  may also sort courses by title, open date, close date, or participation.

Lastly, you may search by course title or filter courses by the survey they are using.





To access the user guide, click on “Help” at the bottom of the right menu. Our user documentation is updated immediately after each release.

Contact Us

For additional information or questions on CourseEval HQ, please contact

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CourseEval HQ Version 1.1.10 – Updated 08/14/2017