SES Comment Redaction
The Continuous Improvement and Evaluation of Teaching (CIET) senate committee and the Office of Provost have developed a protocol for addressing discriminatory, obscene, or demeaning comments appearing in UO’s end-of-course Student Experience Survey (E-SES) reports.
The purpose of the E-SES is for students to reflect on, and provide feedback to their instructor about, their learning experiences in the course. However, to fulfill that purpose, and also to adhere to the University Student Conduct Code, which protects an environment conducive to learning where the safety, dignity, and worth of every individual are respected, and University policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment, students’ comments to the instructor will be available for viewing by unit heads or personnel committees in a way that is devoid of discriminatory, obscene, or demeaning language.
Definitions for Comment Redaction
Any comment that meets the definitions below for “discriminatory,” “obscene,” or “demeaning,” may be flagged by the instructor and redacted by the committee.
“Discriminatory” means any comment, whether intended or unintended, that unreasonably discriminates among individuals on the basis of age, race, color, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, religion, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information or the use of leave protected by state or federal law.
“Obscene” means any comment that is patently offensive by making explicit reference to sexual conduct.
“Demeaning” means any comment that belittles or insults the instructor and is unrelated to teaching, including comments about an instructor’s appearance. Comments that are critical of teaching are not demeaning under this definition.
In addition, a comment that is unrelated to teaching, and has the potential to cause unreasonable harm to the instructor during the review process, may also be redacted.
How to Flag Comments for Redaction
In order for CIET to make decisions quickly and so comments can be removed quickly, Instructors have 1 month to flag comments after SES responses are released.
To flag a comment to be considered for redaction:
1) Log-in to Course Surveys through DuckWeb
Login to DuckWeb, select “Course Surveys”, and click “Open the Course Surveys site”
In the Home drop-down menu, select “My Courses”
Locate the course of interest and click “view” on the far right under the Survey name (End Student Experience Survey).
Ensure you are viewing the "End Student Experience Survey" (not "individual responses") in order to be able to flag a comment for redaction
2) Flag a comment for redaction
If you read a comment you believe should be redacted, follow these steps:
Compare the student comment to the definitions provided above for discriminatory, obscene or demeaning
Check the box at the right margin under “Flag for Review,” and ensure that a check-mark appears within the box.
Before CIET votes on flagged comments, you will receive an email and have the opportunity to provide context about why the comment meets the criteria for redaction and should be removed. Providing context is optional.
How the committee considers comments for redaction:
Each term, flagged comments (absent course or instructor name, or any identifying information) will be provided to the CIET committee along with any context provided by the instructor. The committee uses the criteria for redaction (above) to make decisions about removing comments. A flagged comment only needs to fall under one of the definitions to be redacted and a flagged comment which does not fall under at least one of the definitions will be retained, unless the comment is unrelated to teaching, and has the potential to cause unreasonable harm to the instructor during the review process.
CIET members read comments before a meeting, and complete a survey to redact, retain, or to discuss each comment with the committee before deciding. Then, in the redaction meeting, the CIET committee members review decisions, discuss any comments that weren't voted on unanimously, and revotes. A majority decision is required to redact a comment.
Once your flagged comment is reviewed by the CIET committee you will receive an email indicating that it was either redacted (removed) or retained.The CIET senate committee review flagged comments at least three times per year between October and May, typically around the middle of each term. Each year, the CIET committee members undergo a brief training and norming process before voting on comments for redaction.