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Learning Environment Survey (LENS) FAQ - For Students

This is a FAQ for students about what the Learning Environment Survey (LENS) is, how to complete the LENS, why they should complete it, and what their instructors see after it's been completed.

What is the LENS?  

LENS stands for Learning Environment Survey. This survey is focused on student perceptions about the learning environment created for each of your classes. You will be asked to respond to a series of questions pertaining to your experience and contributions to the class both in and out of the classroom.  


What courses get the LENS?  

The vast majority of courses will provide a LENS to students; however, the few that will not are based on the format of the course, or the length of the course.* 


Are my responses anonymous? 

The reports generated and shared with instructors are anonymous. Instructors never see the names of students who completed the LENS for a course; instructors can see response rates per class during an open LENS completion period.  


When do instructors see their LENS results? 

Reports are released to instructors the day after grades are due. No results are available to any UWL staff member, including the instructor, prior to grades being due for a semester; only response rates are available for an instructor to monitor during an open LENS period. 


Why should I complete the LENS?  

Instructors are expected to utilize your feedback to reflect on the learning environment they cultivated and set appropriate professional goals for potential changes to future courses.  LENS results are also part of how instructors are reviewed.  


What is on the LENS?  

There are 13 questions on the LENS. To help you monitor your location in the survey, there is a progress bar at the top of the survey.   

  • The first question asks you to reflect on how motivated you were to learn about the subject of the class.
  • Then three questions ask about how you engaged in the course and the extent to which you perceived certain course components to be beneficial to your learning. 
  • Then, the next eight questions will focus on your perceptions of effective teaching practices with an opportunity to provide comments about each of them.
  • Finally, a place for additional comments.


How do I provide useful comments?  

Your comments should be specific to the prompts, focused, and respectful. It is helpful to provide comments and examples about successful experiences as well as ideas for change to the learning environment. As the survey is anonymous, so too are your comments. Please leave the comment field blank if you have no comment relevant to the prompt.


When will I complete the LENS?  

The length of time you will have to complete the LENS is based on the length of the class and ranges from 5-14 days from the last day of the course. You will receive an email when the completion period opens, additionally, you will receive a series of reminder emails for any incomplete LENS  during the open completion period. You can save and come back to LENS to complete it later within the date range.

IMPORTANT: Completion periods cannot be extended so please pay attention to these dates.  


What happens if I complete the LENS for the wrong course?  

If you completed a LENS for the wrong course and would like your attempt reset, please reply to the original LENS email with the name of the course/s and the name of the instructor/s for the survey/s you would like to have reset.

Please note: This reset can only happen within the open completion period for the course/s.   


Where do I complete the Learning Environment Survey (LENS) for my class/es? 

During the open LENS completion period, you can complete the LENS for available courses by clicking the link sent in email or by selecting “Course Evaluation” from any Canvas course. LENS can be completed on any device. Some instructors may provide time in the course for you to complete the survey. 

Canvas screenshot for locating course evaluation link


*Do all courses get a LENS?  

These courses are excluded from LENS:

  • concurrent enrollment courses
  • courses offered in a collaborative program
  • distance education courses where the instructor is not a UWL instructor
  • UWL 300
  • internship/independent study type courses
  • any course that is 16 days or shorter in length


KeywordsExplorance Blue, responses, results, reports, data, anonymous   Doc ID136010
OwnerStephanie S.GroupUW-La Crosse
Created2024-03-13 10:54:11Updated2024-04-03 11:46:53
SitesUW-La Crosse
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