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What is SATAL?


Students assessing teaching and learning (SATAL) is a service offered by the Center for Engaged Teaching & Learning (CETL).  This service helps faculty, TAs, and academic programs gain a better sense of the learning experience of their students in their classes and in other academic contexts. 

The idea behind SATAL is to value the voice and views of students and their educational development. To that end, SATAL will provide instructors and programs with valuable student insights into student learning through various measures such as observations, surveys, and interviews. These forms of indirect evidence coupled with more direct evidence, such as course portfolios and examinations, can provide a more holistic understanding of what's happening in a particular classroom.

Students working for SATAL are carefully selected and trained to gather different kinds of data on classroom activities and provide confidential feedback.  These SATAL students can offer a number of services, depending on the type of feedback instructors or programs want to obtain (see options below).

Here's How it Works

  1. Instructor or program interested in SATAL services for a course or program can submit an official Services Request Form.
  2. A SATAL student will contact the instructor or program representative to confirm the type of services requested (see options below).
  3. A SATAL student will collect confidential data of classroom activities for the requested course or program and provide a summary of findings.
  4. Instructor or program can provide feedback about SATAL services using the Feedback Form.

Assesment Services Provided by SATAL

Assessment support options for instructional faculty interested in collecting indirect evidence in support of Student Learning Outcomes: 

  • Class Interviewing: a quick manner of informing faculty about what the students like and their suggestions for the class.
  • Mid/End-course Evaluations: proctors will distribute and collect a faculty designed questionnaire and then tabulate and write a summary report of findings.
  • Class Observation: observers will describe (rather than evaluate) what goes on in the classroom with regard to time spent in questioning, board work, small group discussion, etc. We also conduct Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate Stem or COPUS for those interested in collecting information on the range and frequency of teaching practices.
  • Videotaping: it presents a more complete record of classroom events and a different perspective of the way an instructor is teaching.
  • Focus groups: leaders will facilitate discussion, to produce a professional summary report.

Some important features of SATAL services

 SATAL students are fully-trained in classroom observation, interviewing, and reporting techniques.
  • Summary reports are descriptive and objective (as opposed to prescriptive, evaluative); they simply describe student learning experiences in a course.
  • Students are allowed to reflect on their course experience in a non-threatening manner since this assessment data collection is carried out by their peers.
  • All findings are confidential and not shared with anyone except the instructor or program representative that made the request.
  • Findings can be insightful in assessing student learning outcomes.
  • Services are available for any class, any time, and anywhere. 

To Get Started

For More Information Contact

Adriana Signorini, SATAL Coordinator
Phone: 209-228-4766
Office: AOA 111
* Upon faculty request, SATAL collects and analyzes evidence of student learning for formative assessment purposes only.  SATAL reports are not intended as official evaluation of faculty performance.