Skip to content Skip to navigation

What do SATAL users say?

What SATAL Users Say

Instructional faculty and programs using SATAL services have provided their feedback on findings.

Aspects of SATAL that have been especially helpful

Planned changes to teaching practices

Things discovered about the teaching and learning in your courses/ programs

Aspects of SATAL that you would change

Do you plan to use SATAL services again?

Aspects of SATAL that have been especially helpful:
AY 2016-2017
"SATAL plays a crucial role in helping the Applied Math Grad group to assess its program learning outcomes. The focus groups that they run provide valuable indirect evidence. I am alwasys highly satisfied by how SATAL runs these focus groups, providing detailed written reports with interesting findings." Harish Bhat, Applied Mathematics Professor.
"SATAL is excellent, very helpful and critical to UCM assessment being completed. Adriana Signorini is super helpful. She has great ideas of how to assess students. Many thanks for her professionalism and service to UCM. UCM is lucky to have her."
"I approached SATAL for assistance. We discussed my needs. They followed up. We got the assessment done. I received the feedback promptly. I incorporated findings into changes to my course."
"We used SATAL to run a focus group. The results were fast and professional."
"Very professional staff. They fo the extra mile to support the improvement of my teaching practice. I requested mid-semester students' feedback from my Econometrics class. After the information was collected, Adriana explained to me students'' responses and suggested some ways to address the issues. Overall, a great experience, highly recormended!" Jesus Sandoval, SoE, Computer Sciences Professor.
"SATAL is always friendly and highly professional service is sincerely appreciated. The STEM Center gains better undestanding of its student support service through the survey administration and analysis SATAL provides for us."
"The feedbak on teaching and classroom techniques provides constructive evaluations to reinforce strengths and weaknesses in order to best serve UCM's student population. Further, the evaluations are supportive, and with intent to provide overall classroom effectiveness."
"I has helped me improve my end of the year evaluation. The mid-semester has helped me attain to the feedback given by students." Somnath Sinha, SNS lecturer.
"As an individual not trained in pedagogy, the services provide insight into how to effectively message course content." Robert Rice. SoE, Assistant Professor.
“SATAL staff members are always up to help. I have been seeking Adriana's help since last semester and she is very friendly and professional. She patiently hears about my class and then suggests me what evaluations I need to do with my students to improve my teaching. She has personally administered those evaluations and have also given presentations. Adriana not only presented the findings of the evaluations in an easy to understand format (graphs, visuals) but also took time to discuss it with me how to improve further based on those findings." -Somnath Sinha (Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences)
"I worked with Adrianna. SATAL helped us in Public Health to administer a survey in our upper division classes to obtain indirect evidence for Assessment. SATAL provided support to administer the survey and they also summarized the data and provided a summary report. This was extremely helpful, as assessment is a very time consuming job. I have also met with SATAL to prepare for next years assessment plan. SATAL is a terrific resource for UC Merced." -Andrea Joyce (Public Health Assistant Professor)
"SATAL program has been extremely receptive to our needs and recommendations. They customize their services to meet our specific goals for our yearly program assessment. Their personnel has always been professional and courteous." -Yue Lei (Applied Math Assistant Professor)
"Response to my requests are always followed up promptly. SATAL attend and respond as required in a professional manner. I have always enjoyed the response my students give when SATAL visits-the atmosphere is one of mutual respect." -Jane Wilson (Merritt Writing Program Lecturer)

“... I administered it (the survey) myself. However, SATAL students tabulated the feedback for me, which was very helpful.” -SSHA Assistant Professor

“Excellent work! The consultancy process was informative, efficient, and professional.” -SSHA Lecturer PSOE

“Helped students understand the how and whys of effective feedback. Reminded me of the importance of giving directive feedback without taking over the writer's writing goals.” -Merritt Writing Program Lecturer

“The service is good, they are very fast and are very efficient.” -Biology TA

“The SATAL program helped me improve student engagement during lecture time, and therefore, improve student performance in my courses.  I requested a class assessment, and I received feedback that improved lectures.  I also requested a post observation at the end of the semester and compared results to the initial observation.  Useful feedback included the incorporation of mid-lecture questions and minute papers in my classes. These mid-lecture questions provide students with a break from the lecture format, and give them the opportunity to work in small groups to provide answers.  They also allow me to encourage the participation of quieter students, thus evaluating their understanding of the material.  By using minute papers at the end of the class, I am not only able to take attendance, but also to sample responses to assess what the students take away from the class. By incorporating these two tools into my lectures, students’ grades increased because they were more engaged with the material”  -Natural Science Assistant Professor- Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching

“The chemistry group needed this Chem 1 mid-semester evaluation quickly and SATAL program responded in a very positive way to our short notice.” – Chemistry Lecturer
“Questions about communication/instructions. Asking students during interviews what their needs are and whether they were met.” – Writing Lecturer
“The various services that SATAL provides are impressive. Not only was I able to get a mid-semester evaluation but I also was able to get my class filmed. Watching myself teach was very informative.” – Math TA
“I found the results from the student interviews extremely helpful in identifying changes I could make to improve the class.” – Psychology Professor
“Student assistants [are] ready, reliable, and professional during and after the observation.” – Sociology TA
“The student centered aspect seems to be very effective.  It seems students in the class are much more willing to give honest feedback to other students doing the evaluation.  Customizing the evaluation in terms of what to focus on when getting feedback from students in the class was also very nice to have.” –Psychology/Cognitive Science Lecturer
“I like that I can get information about my teaching in specific areas through the focus group. The students feel more comfortable talking to a peer and it also helps that I get feedback very quickly while keeping the students’ identities confidential. I’ll definitely use the SATAL services again and have recommended them to my colleagues and TA’s.” – Physics Lecturer
“Getting student feedback has been very helpful to improve things like the homework assignments I give, and also to determine what has been working well in my classes such as how I do lecture slides. Other suggestions about how to improve class participation have also been helpful and I hope to implement those ideas soon.” – Psychology/Cognitive Science Lecturer
“Having SATAL coordinate and conduct the interview was crucial to the success of the assessment.  Students needed an environment in which they could speak freely without professors there.” – Applied Math Associate Professor
“The PSY Major exit interviews were invaluable, providing us with feedback we could not otherwise obtain and we’ll continue these interviews every year” – PSY Professor
“It was a pleasure working with the SATAL team. I highly appreciate our discussions and your guidance throughout the class evaluation process. SATAL students’ work was very professional – they communicated well, kept their work confidential and presented me with the results summary in a timely manner” – Chemistry lecturer
Planned changes to teaching practices:
"The opinions, suggestions, and asnwers that students give to SATAL staff during focus groups is much open, frank, and helpful than what they say to faculty directly. SATAL creates an environment that enables students to speak freely. This is what makes the focus group feedback so helpful." Harish Bhat, Applied Mathematics Professor.
"Assessment has shown that students like discussions and interactive activities. Our courses in Public Health are now incorporating more of these activities to improve student learning." Andrea Joyce, SSHA, Public Health Assistant Professor.
"Mid-semester feedback gave students an opportunity to provide feedback to me through SATAL peers. Their suggestions led me to: 1) include learning outcomes for each lecture thereafter; 2) reduce the number of questions I asked students to better facilitte discussion between students rather than simply answering my question, and 3) I altered my speaking pace." Josh Franco, SSHA, Graudate Teaching Assistant.
"The feedback has benefited my teaching in the way I respond to student writing and office hours needs." Cheryl Finley, MWP, Lecturer.
AY 2015-2016
"This semester one of the findings of the SATAL evaluation was that I have been using a lot of PowerPoint presentation in one of my classes. This was a mid term evaluation. Based on that finding, I designed rest of my classes for the semester focusing on more hands-on and group activity. This change definitely made the students more engaging." -Somnath Sinha (Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences)
”I use SATAL services on semester bases to assess the effectiveness of the STEM Center's Peer Tutor/Mentor Program. The results SATAL gives back to us, contribute greatly to the evaluation of specific services tutors provide.” -Petia Gueorguieva (STEM Center Coordinator)
”SATAL provided me with concrete ways like listening to what the students with patience and letting them finish their interventions first. They also located few areas that could have been done differently in terms maintaining attitudes in the class. All are very instructive and worth following.” - Zakir Hossain Majumder (Graduate Teaching Assistant)
”The specific comments from students that describe how the course can be improved are extremely important. If there is a way to help prompt and guide students to help them be more specific, that would be very helpful. For example, a student comment saying that the "course is not well organized" is not as helpful as a student comment that says "course organization will be better by having a clear timeline for readings and assignments." SATAL is a very important component of UC Merced's educational services. Thank you.” -Stergios Roussos (Executive Director, Blum Center)

“I already made specific changes to the course: giving students copies of completed quizzes with correct answers after the quiz is over, giving students a study guide for midterm exams, and changing the way I call on students to ensure all students are called on.” – Psychology Professor
“I will be revising my lecture slide format in response to the feedback I received. I will be putting less information on slides and working more from notes…I’m hoping it leads to more student involvement and participation in my classes.” – Psychology Lecturer
“I will incorporate more demos and videos in the spring semester. I also started incorporating a brief review session the lecture before the exam by having the class collectively create an outline of topics. I will also provide more instruction and helpful hints for Mastering Physics problems.” – Physics Lecturer
“…I’ve already become mindful of some small things I can do in lecture to facilitate the process and what students get out of participation, such as repeating back student questions for the entire class to hear the questions.” – Psychology/Cognitive Science Lecturer
“Provide more problem solving examples during lecture”- Chemistry Lecturer
“We are considering seriously implementing early programming experiences for our students. The applied math faculty was pleasantly surprised to learn that students wanted that in their education.” – Applied Math Assistant Professor
Things discovered about the teaching and learning in your courses/ programs:

“Students were engaged later on in the discussion.” -Math Lecturer

“I learned that my students wanted me to be more interactive in the class. That helped me immensely in gaining confidence in the classroom.” -Math Lecturer

“SATAL seems to confirm that our freshmen want easier courses where more answers are provided (for homework and upcoming exams) rather than more learning.” -Math Lecturer

“SATAL provided a view of the discussion sections that the teaching assistants do not wish to provide.”  -Math Lecturer
“The SATAL interview provided valuable Chem 1 feedback. More importantly, it helped Chem 1 students to self-evaluate their work - as a result, students knew better what areas they need to pay more individual attention to.” – Chemistry Lecturer
“Peer review forms were helpful. Reflected effectiveness of hybrid instruction and methods.” – Writing Lecturer
“From the mid-semester evaluations, I learned that my students were struggling to follow instructions on lab assignments. After the evaluation, the TAs and I worked diligently to improve the quality of instructions to improve student learning.” – Math TA
“Preparedness makes the class flow…good time management, plenty of activities and good communication ethics maintain a good working relationship and also create a better learning environment.” – Sociology TA
“I didn’t realize [the students] found the discussion sessions so lacking in helping them learn physics. We knew they needed to be improved, and the focus group helped identify very concrete aspects to focus upon.  I also didn’t realize how helpful the demonstrations and videos were to the students even though they take a lot of time and sometimes don’t go so smoothly.” – Physics Lecturer
“Although I’m already aware that I tend to focus on certain areas of lecture halls more than others, I discovered that it’s more prevalent than I thought. I also look really serious during lecture; I thought I smiled more!” – Physics Lecturer
“I’ve found that I have implicitly been working with some of the ideas in the hierarchy of learning without really knowing that’s what I’ve been doing. I think I can look at different aspects of my classes and work to make those different parts address the learning goals/methods/outcomes for the different levels of the hierarchy so different aspects of the class work together to cover multiple levels of hierarchy.” – Psychology/Cognitive Science Lecturer
“Direct student feedback in focus groups is highly valuable, and we plan to use it extensively in the future.” – Applied Math Assistant Professor
“We’ll be using the results of the exit interviews to (a) change the PSY major and (b) file the next WASC educational effectiveness results on the PSY major” – Psychology Professor
“I would like to use the SATAL services in my future classes. SATAL evaluations provided an excellent feedback for my CHEM 10 class and were very helpful in understanding students’ needs. As a result, I was able to address specific topics and further help my students during lecture” – Chemistry lecturer
Aspects of SATAL that you would change:

“Perhaps SATAL midterm evaluations could replace official midterm evaluations (with 69 questions, which students dislike).” – Writing Lecturer

“I am highly satisfied with the services provided.” – Math TA
Do you plan to use SATAL services again?
AY 2016-2017
"Yes, Mid-semester evaluation in Fall 2017."
"Yes, we will run another focus group early in 2018. This is part of the anual assessment (and/program review) of the Applied Math Graduate Program."
"Yes, I will be presenting the results of our study of outcomes as a result of changes in teaching practices next semester."
"Yes, I plan to use SATAL. I hope to work with SATAL in Fall for assessment in Public Health undergraduate curriculum."
"Yes. Fall 2017 and 2018"
"Yes, I have already requested SATAL workshops for my class for the coming academic year."
"Yes, I will let you know tentative dates in the near future."
"Yes, but not sure when. I'm interested in learning about the inverted classroom."
AY 2015-2016
"SATAL was very helpful as a first semester Teaching Fellow; although I already had a fair sense that the course was going well, it gave me concrete student feedback about what students liked or would prefer to change. If I need to develop a new course next year, I would definitely use SATAL again!" -Kristin Hocevar
"If I serve as lecturer again in the Fall 2016 semester, I will likely request SATAL services (videotaping and/or class interviews) midway through the semester, in order to help assess the effects of any changes that I have implemented." -Gary Abel (Graduate Teaching Assistant)
"Absolutely. In both Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 I will be teaching new classes, therefore I will make appointments with SATAL as soon as possible. I strongly believe my evaluation scores would be not as great if I did not have SATAL's assistance." -Noemi Petra (Mathematics Assistant Professor)
"Certainly. I will turn to SATAL whenever I need. For now, I would like to act upon their advice they have already extended to me and keep on practicing them until they are internalized/naturalized." -Zakir Hossain Majumder (Graduate Teaching Assistant)

“Yes, and I'd love to have interviews in particular, which may be more useful than my open-ended surveys. I most certainly would recommend the services to other faculty. I'm a big proponent of assessing one's own teaching, and SATAL is VERY helpful in this endeavor. [At my previous institution] they required assessments like the ones SATAL offers as part of our tenure/merit files, but professors were left to do all of the work, tabulation, assessment themselves. It was very frustrating. This system is wonderful, Adriana is easy to work with and get advice from, and the students I interacted with were great. I hope to use SATAL even more efficiently in the future.” -SSHA Assistant Professor

“Absolutely! SATAL services are very helpful towards gathering structured information about teaching and learning.”  -SSHA Lecturer PSOE


“The program is excellent. Yes, I would use SATAL services in the future and would recommend them to other faculty because the survey was very helpful to my teaching.” -Math Lecturer

“A big definite yes.” -Merrit Writing Program Lecturer

“Yes. This is a quick and comprehensive way to receive class feedback.” – Chemistry Lecturer
“Yes, because each class is different and it's good to check whether their needs are met and reevaluate teaching effectiveness.” – Writing Lecturer