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Information for Instructors and Graduate Teaching Assistants


The goal of the Student Perceptions of Learning Survey (SPLS) is to support high-quality instruction by providing (1) instructors and academic programs with data about student perceptions related to instructional practices to support course improvement in MSU’s teaching and learning environments; (2) instructional supervisors with one source of information for consideration in personnel decisions such as retention, promotion, salary, and tenure in recognition that effective teaching constitutes an important criterion in evaluating personnel; and (3) students with information to guide decision-making related to course selection. 

Click here to Access the SPLS System 

Institution-level Questions

The university-wide Student Perceptions of Learning Environments Policy stipulates that all MSU students will receive the SPLS with eight institution-level, Likert scale questions. If required by the college, all college-level and/or department or school-level questions shall also be administered to all students.

One of the institution-level questions (Q1) is included for use in analysis of responses. Responses from six questions (Q2-Q7) are available to instructors, graduate teaching assistants, and their respective college and department or school. Responses to four questions (Q2, Q3, Q4, Q8) will be made available to students to guide decision-making related to course selection.

Q1. At the time of enrollment, my level of interest in this course was:
Q2. I understood what was expected of me in this course:
Q3. Overall, the course was well organized:
Q4. The instructor created an atmosphere that supported my learning:
Q5. The course expanded my understanding of the subject matter:
Q6. Course assignments and/or tests provided opportunities for me to demonstrate an understanding of the course material:
Q7. My interest in the subject has increased because of this course:
Q8. Compared to other courses of equal credit, the workload for this course was:

Instructor Questions and Course Questions

There are two types of questions in the SPLS: Course and Instructor. Every Instructor question is repeated according to the number of people with an instructional role attached to the course in Campus Solutions. The questions are customized with each instructor’s name and instructional role. The name listed in the MSU Human Resources database is used to personalize Instructor questions, not “legal name.” For example, the Q4 institution-level question in which there is a “Faculty Member” and “Graduate Assistant” assigned in Campus Solutions will be presented to students like this:

  • The Faculty Member, Selah Spartan, created an atmosphere that supported my learning:
  • The Graduate Assistant, Will Green, created an atmosphere that supported my learning:

5-Point Likert Scale

A 5-point scale is standard for the SPLS instrument with 5 as the assigned value for favorable responses and 1 assigned to unfavorable responses. There are two primary response scales:

  • Strongly agree=5, Agree=4, Neutral=3, Disagree=2, Strongly disagree=1
  • Excellent=5, Very good=4, Good=3, Fair=2, Poor=1

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The QR-URL User Guide includes illustrated step-by-step instructions for accessing the QR Code and URL that is unique to every course-section, which takes students directly to the survey for the specific course-section.

A: Some departments and colleges process term-by-term appointments instead of annual appointments for fixed-term faculty. Instructors lose access to the SPLS system between appointments, but will regain access to all historical SPLS data when they are within subsequent appointment terms. If they need access to reports while outside of an appointment term, they should contact their department chair who can save individual course reports as PDF files from within the SPLS Administrator Dashboard. 

A: No. Questions are generated and reports are distributed only to individuals who are designated as Faculty Member or Graduate Assistant within Campus Solutions. Contact your department chair or department scheduler to get linked to your course within Campus Solutions.  
A: To protect student confidentiality, response data are suppressed when there are fewer than three respondents. A report is not available when the minimum number of student responses is not achieved. 
A: No. Any SIRS data that has not already been downloaded and saved should be downloaded before September 30, 2023. 

A: Research suggests that student participation is higher when instructors demonstrate personal interest in receiving feedback. Feel free to use the following text in your syllabus, or use it as a starting point for writing a more personalized descriptions of the SPLS. 

Student Perceptions of Learning Survey (SPLS)
Michigan State University takes seriously the opinion of students in evaluating and enhancing the quality of instruction and has implemented the SPLS process to gather student feedback. You will receive an email in the last five, seven, or ten calendar days of class asking you to complete the SPLS at your convenience. The length of the survey period depends upon the length of the course. You have the option to decline to participate in the survey by not responding to any of the questions. We hope students are willing to provide frank and constructive feedback so the information can be used to enhance the quality of teaching in the future. MSU protects student confidentiality by reporting SPLS responses as an aggregated summary after the window closes for instructors to submit grades and responses are not reported when fewer than three students participate. More information about the SPLS is available at 

A: Research suggests that sequestering grades and other punitive strategies are ineffective at boosting response rates. Some effective strategies for instructors include demonstrating to students personal interest in receiving their feedback, reserving time in class to complete the survey, assuring students of confidentiality, and providing easy access to the survey. 

A: Surveys are open for 5, 7, or 10 calendar days depending upon the length of the course: 

  • open for 5 calendar days for courses that are less than six weeks 
  • open for 7 calendar days for courses that are six weeks to less than 11 weeks 
  • open for 10 calendar days for courses that are 11 weeks or longer 
A: SPLS forms are available to students in the last five, seven, or ten calendar days before the course end date that is listed in Campus Solutions. The length of the survey period depends upon the length of the course. 
A: About 99% of students in the US23 pilot of the SPLS completed the survey in 15 minutes or less. 

A: For technical issues, contact the IT Service Desk

For issues that are specific to your department or college (e.g., department-level or college-level SPLS questions), contact your department chair. 

For all other issues, join a SPLS Office Hours session or send an email to