Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) is a psychometrically valid faculty teaching evaluation instrument that minimizes bias by controlling for student demographic influences. 

College faculty may be resistant to the use of end-of-course surveys as a measure of their teaching effectiveness because of student bias.  Some faculty members maintain that students who perform well in their courses rate them highly, while students who anticipate receiving low grades may indicate much lower ratings.  Other factors such as the time of day of the course, faculty age or student course load may also substantially influence student perceptions of faculty effectiveness.


The University of North Texas recognized the need for a solution that would consist of a psychometrically valid teaching evaluation instrument and a scoring process in which across-departmental-influences and student-demographic-influences are minimized as much as possible in their combined effect on measuring students’ perceptions of teaching effectiveness.  The items were developed to apply across all delivery systems including on-campus, hybrid and fully online courses.


The University of North Texas partnered with SmarterServices (the provider of SmarterSurveys) as a sole source provider to administer the SETE instrument and process the results.  The per-course outcome is a single numerical value of a faculty member’s effectiveness on a scale of 1 – 1000.  The intent is that the scores can be applied to a continuous improvement model that shows individual instructor growth over time.  Faculty members can have confidence in the scale score recognizing that factors of student bias have been controlled.

For more information about SETE, click on the links below or go to Frequently Asked Questions.

Main SETE Website

SETE Overview

A Guide to Interpretation of SETE Scores

Sample SETE Faculty Report

SETE Documentation (UNT) long version

Effectiveness Category Methodology Notes

SETE Scoring Implementation Notes

Recording of Effective Teaching Webinar Using SETE Principals - password protected - UNTwebinar