FAQs

What are Scanning Services Hours of Operation and Location?

Scanning Services Hours of Operation are Monday - Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Scanning Services is located in 315 Henderson Hall.

Do I need to make an appointment to have Exams (Scantrons) scanned?

Exams will be scanned on first come, first served basis. 

What do I need to include with the completed Scantrons?

  • Classroom exams require the standard Texas A&M University form.
  • Instructors/TAs will need to make a key or keys for their exams. Multiple forms can be scored separately or altogether.
  • In order to submit exams for scanning, Instructors/TAs should fill in Scanning Request Form and submit it with their key(s) and students answer sheets.
  • Students' answer sheets should bubble in students' name and Universal ID Number (UIN) using a No.2 pencil for their score records.
  • Note:  Forms should be free of any physical damage including creases, tears, water marks or any other alteration that keeps the answer sheet from lying flat.

What turnaround time can I expect?

The possible wait time for results depends on workload and time of year. Turn-around time is usually 10-20 minutes, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Is there parking at Henderson Hall?

Henderson Hall has two (2) visitor spots at the front of the building and three (3) University Business (UB) spaces at the back of the building.  Additional University Business (UB) spaces are also available in Lot 30. 


How do I log-on to Digital Desk Instructor Tools?

https://digitaldesk.tamu.edu  - will access via the CAS System

NOTE:  If you log-on from an off campus computer, VPN is required.  Please contact your college/departmental IT staff for VPN Access/Support/Help Desk.  Once logged into Digital Desk, click on the tab you wish to view (e.g. Reports, Answer Key, etc.). 

How do I assign a Teaching Assistant (TA)?

Once log-on to Digital Desk, select Settings tab from dashboard.  Then enter either your Course number (Acct 209) or select your course from the drop down menu.  Insert TA’s UIN and click “Add TA” to finish TA assignment.  The TA’s name will show up as assigned.  To delete a TA, just click the delete button next to their name. 

How do I run/download reports?

Select Report tab, then select exam ID from drop down menu.  Click on the check box for exam and then select reports you wish to have generated.  You can select generate All reports or select individual reports.  Click on the Run button and reports will download.  The tab named “graphs” and downloads” will display a number next to them.  You can view and down load your reports under each tab.  Click download button next to the report/graph you wish to view.  Click “open” on the pop-up to view reports. 

How do I release Individual Student Score Report? 

After you have reviewed student scores within Digital Desk Instructor Tools, an instructor can release individual student score reports through the “Release Student Score Reports” button.  This will e-mail each individual student score to their @tamu.edu e-mail address.

​How do I and/or Students change e-mail setting to not send Scanning Services e-mail to Spam/Junk mail?

If using Microsoft Outlook:
  1. Locate “Junk E-Mail” folder
  2. Locate email from “scanning@tamu.edu
  3. Right click on email form scanning@tamu.edu
  4. Go down the list to “Junk” and a submenu will pop out.
  5. Click on “Not Junk”.
  6. A pop up window will appear “Mark as Not Junk”. Stating: “This message will be moved back into the Inbox Folder.” Make sure the box is checked next to “Always trust e-mail from scanning@tamu.edu. Then click “OK”.
This should stop the email from continuing to go into the junk folder. If you continue to have issues with this please contact your departments IT personnel or Help Desk at helpdesk@tamu.edu or 979-845-8300.
 
If using Gmail
If you find a message wrongly classified as spam, you can unmark the message. Just select the message, and click the Not Spam button that appears at the top and bottom of your current view. Unmarking a message will automatically move it to your inbox.
If you find that some senders' messages are consistently being mislabeled as spam, you can prevent this by:
  • Adding their email addresses to your Contacts list. Gmail will deliver messages from members of your Contacts list to your inbox, unless we know with high confidence that they are spam.
  • Some messages sent from contacts which are very clearly spam can be sent directly to your Spam label. More importantly, in some cases messages from contacts will not be sent to Spam but will be marked with a red warning bannerif the content is suspicious - for example, your friend's or contact's account has been compromised and used to send phishing messages.
  • Creating a filter so the messages are never sent to Spam.
This should stop the email from continuing to go into the SPAM folder. If you continue to have issues with this please contact your departments IT personnel or Help Desk at helpdesk@tamu.edu or 979-845-8300.
 
If using any other email app please contact your department IT personnel or Help Desk at helpdesk@tamu.edu or 979-845-8300.

How do I upload into eCampus/Gradebook?

Under Reports Tab, click the Custom Option.  Select your course from dropdown menu and click run.  The system will verify your request to upload.  Once clicked the system will produce a pop-up that confirms upload to eCampus.  Note: Upload to eCampus can take up to 15 minutes.

Additional information on Digital Desk

 


 

Where can I find the item bank?

  • To see a sample online evaluation form, go to the PICA website (pica.tamu.edu) and enter the Guest Login. The id and password are both "guest" (without the quote marks)
  • The item bank can be found under the Instructor menu at pica.tamu.edu.

How do I order paper evaluations for my department?

  1. OIEE will send a list of courses taught to department liaisons on or about the 5th class day of each semester.
  2. Review the course list, and send edits to evaluations@tamu.edu.
  3. Allow one month for printing and packaging of paper forms.
  4. Pick up forms in Henderson Hall 3rd floor. Park in Lot 30 with a University Business Pass or in the loading zone on the south side of the building (limited to 15 minute parking).

Where do I take completed paper evaluations to be processed?

  1. All header sheets should be correctly filled out. Ensure course information has been bubbled in.
  2. Forms should be returned in the envelope they were received, with the header sheet on top.
  3. Return completed packages in course numerical order to Henderson Hall room 308.
  4. Forms are processed on a first come first served basis.

Should faculty administer their own evaluations?

No. Below is the proper way to administer paper evaluations.

Administering paper evaluations
  1. Evaluations should be administered within the last two weeks of class.
  2. Evaluations should NOT be administered during or after final exams.
  3. Evaluations should be distributed by an individual not connected to the course. Instructor(s) should leave the room during evaluation administration.
  4. Leave sufficient time for students to complete evaluations (20 minutes are recommended).

Will the instructor know that I submitted an appraisal?
No.

How will I know my appraisal has been submitted?
You will receive a printable confirmation online immediately upon successfully submitting your appraisal. A second confirmation will be sent by e-mail. You may keep these for your records.

Can my appraisal be linked back to me?
Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Evaluation will report only aggregate assessment statistics and will not divulge the source of individual responses to the instructor, Department Head, College Dean, other University officials or external parties. Likewise, comments to essay questions will not be linked to individual responses. Student IDs will be stripped from the records before the results are made available to the instructor.

Who will see the results of the Early Feedback appraisals?
The results of Early Feedback appraisals will only be used by the instructor for the purpose of making changes to the course, and will not be reported to the College Dean or Department Head. Early Feedback results are deleted at the end of the semester.

Who will see the results of the End-of-Term appraisals?
The results of End-of-Term appraisals will be used by the instructor for the purpose of making changes to the course, program curriculum, and will be reported to the College Dean and Department Head who may use the information for decisions about promotion and tenure.
Note to instructors: Your Department Head will receive a summary of the college and department items, but not a summary of the items you selected.

When will the instructor see the results of the End-of-Term appraisals?
End-of-Term results will not be reported to the instructor nor to the College Dean or Department Head until after final grades are turned in.

What is the deadline for submitting appraisals?
Appraisals must be submitted before midnight of the last day of the appraisal period in order for your appraisal to be recorded.

What time zone does PICA use for the appraisal schedules?
All deadlines are based on USA Central Time except courses taught at TAMU Qatar, which are based on local Qatar time.

May I revise my appraisal after I submit it?
You may log back into the system over multiple sessions during the appraisal period and revise your answers if desired. The last version you submit will be the only version recorded.

May I submit more than one appraisal per class?
You may submit only one appraisal per class. You may revise your appraisal as much as desired, but the last version you submit will be the only version recorded.

What courses are appraised?

All courses are appraised in each term, including mini-mesters, except independent study and research (285, 484, 485, 491, 684, 685, 691) and internships.
 

Can I have my independent and research courses appraised?

Yes, you may select those courses for appraisal by going to http://pica.tamu.edu. See below: "How do I set up my courses for appraisal?"
 

When are courses appraised?

There are two appraisal periods during the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Early feedback (optional) is administered during the fifth week of the term. It opens at 6:00 p.m. on the Saturday before the fifth week and closes at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday after the sixth week.
  • The End-of-Term appraisal period opens at 6:00 p.m. on the Saturday before the second-to-last full week of class, after Q-Drops have occurred and closes at 6:00 p.m. the last day of class, prior to Finals starting.
For Summer sessions, there are two appraisal periods during the ten-week session and one in each of the five-week sessions.
  • The End-of-Term appraisals for each Summer session begin at 6:00 p.m. ten days before the last class day of that session and end at 6:00 p.m. of the last class day.
  • The Early feedback for the ten-week session coincides with the first summer session End-of-Term appraisal period.
Custom appraisal periods for mini-mester courses, modular courses, and study abroad courses can be set up by sending an email to pica@tamu.edu.
 
To view the specific dates for the current term, go to http://pica.tamu.edu. The dates will appear in a sidebar on the right side of the screen.
 

How do I set up my courses for appraisal?

Go to http:/pica.tamu.edu and enter the "Instructor Login." Click the "Begin" button in the "Pre-appraisal Period" window. Another window will open containing a list of all of your courses available for appraisal. Highlight the courses you want appraised and click "Add." You will see the courses move from "available" to "selected." You will receive confirmation of your selection by email.
 

When is the deadline to select my courses?

The deadline to select your courses for appraisal is 6:00 p.m. two days before the appraisal period opens. The deadline appears on the right sidebar of the current term menu in PICA.
 

What happens if I miss the deadline? Can my course still be appraised?

Yes, OIEE can select the course for you. Send an e-mail to pica@tamu.edu with the subject, course and section number(s) to be appraised. We understand that it is easy to forget deadlines. If your department uses PICA for all appraisals, OIEE staff will automatically select courses for instructors who have missed the deadline. If you wait to select your courses until right before the deadline, you might find that they have already been selected. For departments in which PICA is optional, instructors will need to select the courses themselves.
 

How many questions are on the appraisal form?

The appraisal form contains two background questions: "Expected grade in the course," and "Is this course required?" It contains any number of Likert scale items up to a maximum of 20. Each Likert scale item has a box for comments. There is one essay question, but instructors have an option of adding up to five essay questions.
 

Who chooses the questions?

PICA is Cafeteria Model of course appraisal. The questions are stored in an item bank from which various stakeholders can select the ones that are most appropriate for the course. The primary stakeholders are the college administration, the department administration, and the instructor. The questions chosen by the college administration and/or the department administration are the default questions. If the default set contains fewer than 20 questions, the instructor may add questions up to 20. There is no single set of questions for the university.
 

How do I add questions to the appraisal form?

After you have selected your course(s), a window will open with instructions on how to view the default items and how to select additional items for the appraisal form.
 

What is the deadline for adding items to the form?

The deadline for adding items is the same deadline for selecting courses is 6:00 p.m. two days before the appraisal period opens.
 

I teach a multi-section course. Can I have all of the sections combined for one appraisal?

Yes. Send an e-mail to pica@tamu.edu with the course and section information. This request must be submitted prior to the start of the appraisal period.  Once the appraisal period opens, sections cannot be combined. 
 

How do I set up appraisals for my TAs?

Send an e-mail to pica@tamu.edu with the names and UINs for your TAs with the sections they teach. This request must be submitted prior to the start of the appraisal period.  Once the appraisal period opens, TA's cannot be added.    
 

I am co-teaching a course. Can both (all) of us be appraised?

Yes, send an e-mail to pica@tamu.edu with the names and UINs of all instructors along with department/course and section number.  This request must be submitted prior to the start of the appraisal period.  Once the appraisal period opens, co-instructors cannot be added.   
 

When are results available?

End-of-term results are made available at 6:00 p.m. of the day that final grades are due in the Registrar's office. Early feedback results are available at 6:00 p.m. of the day following the close of the early feedback period.
 

How do I view my results?

Go to http://pica.tamu.edu and enter the "Instructor Login." Click on the "Begin" button in the "Post=appraisal" window. You will see a menu of your courses links to the types of reports that are available to you. To view results from previous terms, click the "Previous Terms" tab for a menu of your courses. Report types include 1) the statistical summary for each course with links to the qualitative responses, 2) a comparative summary of your course with other sections of the course, other courses of the same level, and other courses of the same subject, 3) a longitudinal summary giving the results for the current term and all previous terms in which you taught the course.
 

Can I monitor the response rate during the evaluation period?

Yes. During the appraisal period, you can view your response rate in PICA by clicking on the "Begin" button in the "During Appraisal Period" window. If your response is disappointing, please remind students to do the appraisal.
 

Can students do the appraisal on their phones?

Yes, PICA is mobile adapted. When students login, PICA recognizes the OS and adjusts the screen appropriately. Students can do the appraisals on laptops, tablets or smartphones. In fact, more appraisals are submitted each term on smartphones than on desktop computers.
 

Can students do an appraisal for a course they are not enrolled in?

No. When students login, PICA checks the class rosters and presents them with appraisals for only the courses in which they are enrolled.
 

If a student has dropped the course can they still do the appraisal?

If the student is enrolled in the course on the day the appraisal period opens, they can do the appraisal. If they have dropped the course before the appraisal period opens, they cannot do the appraisal.
 

How many appraisals can a student submit for a course?

A student can submit only one appraisal for a course. However, the student may revise the appraisal at any time before the end of the appraisal period.
 

Why do you use the term "appraisals" instead of the more common "evaluations?"

The term, "evaluations," can have strong connotations for faculty. I have often heard from faculty, "Students can't evaluate me." In that, they are correct. In the strictest sense, the job of evaluation belongs to a) the university, college, and department administration, or b) the instructors themselves. The evaluation is a judgment on the quality and effectiveness of the instruction made by someone in a positon to make that judgment. Students do not evaluate. What they do is provide data, which the administration or instructors use, along with other data, to make a judgment. This distinction is important. The data provided by the students are not and should not be the only data used to make the judgment. By not using the term "evaluations" to describe what the students do, I hope to put the data in its proper relation to judgment and decision-making.
If you still have questions, please contact us at:
 
Scanning@tamu.edu
Evaluations@tamu.edu
PICA@tamu.edu
3rd Floor Henderson Hall, 1157 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-1157
Phone: (979) 862-2918