FAQ's: Common Solutions to Common Problems


Jump to the following Questions:

Technical issues

Setting up EvaluateUR

Scoring assessments

What if a student/mentor doesn't receive an email?

Response:

  1. Confirm that they were supposed to receive an email. Note: a mentor will not receive any email from the system until the student has submitted their reflection. See Mentor Feedback. You can also use the 'Preview All Steps' link at the top of your dashboard to see all the messages students and mentors should receive at each step of the process.
  2. Make sure the email address entered into the system is the one the student/mentor is actually checking. Check for any possible typos in the information you entered and cases where people have multiple email addresses and don't regularly check the one you used.
  3. Ask the student/mentor to check their spam folder. Some campus email systems are especially aggressive about marking messages as spam. We strongly encourage you to get in touch with your campus IT staff before you start using EvaluateUR and have them 'whitelist' all EvaluateUR related email to ensure it doesn't end up in a spam folder. Learn more about how to whitelist emails for individuals and institutions
  4. The content of all emails is available through the 'preview all steps' link in your dashboard. In cases where the email message refers the student/mentor to a url, it's the same url in all cases. It's the 'Student and Mentor' link you'll find in the left navigation menu. In cases where an email wasn't received you could simply provide the same information manually with a direct email to the student or mentor. But in most cases it's worth trouble-shooting a bit more to make sure the underlying problem or source of confusion has been addressed. That ensures that there won't be issues with missing emails later in the process.

How can I keep automated messages from being marked as 'junk' or 'spam'?

Some campus email systems are especially aggressive about marking messages as spam. We strongly encourage you to get in touch with your campus IT folks before you start using EvaluateUR and have them 'whitelist' all EvaluateUR related email to ensure it doesn't end up in a spam folder. Learn more about how to whitelist emails for individuals and institutions

Question: What if a student or mentor needs to change their email address?

Response: If the pair has not yet been activated you can simply change and save the new address in the listing for their pair in the Dashboard (the site administrator's EvaluateUR home page). After the pair has been activated the student and mentor will each have an account and only they will be able to change the email address and name for their account. To do this they would:

  1. Visit the Account/Favorites menu in the top right corner of the page and select the top entry which is for their account.
  2. On the subsequent page which allows them to manage their account there is an option in the upper right to 'change email'. Selecting this will walk the individual through the process. Similarly there is a 'Edit Personal Information' link in the lower left corner their Account page to where they can correct their name.
  3. After completing this the corrected information will automatically get used for future automated messages. If they have changed their email address the updated one will serve as the address they need to use to log back into their EvaluateUR account.

Question: How should I determine the deadlines to use for the default dates?

Response: The dashboard allows the site administrator to set deadlines for completion of each of the assessments. The default deadlines must be entered before activating any of your pairs. The default dates are determined by the site administrator and based on the length and timing of your program. This allows flexibility as it accommodates research experiences of varying lengths. 

Question: The 5-point scale does not seem to provide a wide enough range?

Response: A wider range of the scale could result in students and mentors becoming more concerned about assigning a score to a particular outcome component. The difference between two scores would become smaller if the scale were increased. While EvaluateUR does generate summary statistics based on the scores assigned by students and mentors, a strength of the method is the repeated structured conversations between the student and mentor and the feedback that the student receives.

Question: Is it realistic to assign a score of 5 (always) because that means 100% of the time and next to impossible to achieve?

Response: If a student or mentor is uncomfortable assigning a '5' for that reason one option is to suggest that '5' means 'almost always' or else assign a '4' (usually). In the conversation, it should become evident to the student and mentor what each means by a '4' versus a '5'. 

Question: How can a research mentor complete the pre-research assessment when I have had little/no prior interaction with the student researcher?

Response: The pre-research reflection is intended to help mentors learn about the research student. Of course, this does not include observing them, so while helpful it will not replace 'observation time'. However, if you keep in mind that EvaluateUR is about the reasons why a particular score was given, the value shifts from the score itself to the conversation about the outcomes. It is recommended that the mentor and student score the initial assessment based on what they know at the time. Findings from implementing EvaluateUR indicate that while scores on the initial assessment diverge the student and mentor scores converged for both the mid-research and end-of-research assessments.

Can a single mentor be paired with multiple students?

Response: Yes. As the site administrator, you can enter the same mentor information in each pair and when you activate the pairs, the system will link all the individual students to that mentor's dashboard. When the mentor visits their site, the system will only be showing them one student at a time. When the mentor first visits (e.g., by following a link in an email message), the system will prompt them to choose which of their students to look at. There is also an interface in the upper right corner for them to see which student they are currently looking at and to switch their view to any of their other students.

Note: The menus to choose between students only includes students that have started filling out the initial reflection. Students that have not started the process will not show up for the mentor.  

Who can be a mentor for the EvaluateUR method?

Response: A mentor should be the person that is most directly interacting with the student during their research. For example, Ph.D. students, post-docs, and researcher associates are often involved in mentoring undergraduates conducting research and certainly can be identified as the mentor in EvaluateUR.