Course Feedback for Instructors Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I set up a CFI or see my reports?

What is a CFI?

CFI stands for Course Feedback for Instructors. It is an online, customizable, confidential system that allows instructors to get feedback on their teaching from students in their classes. This instructor-generated questionnaire is different from Penn’s official end-of-semester evaluation in three significant ways that may make it particularly useful for instructors:

  • they can set up questions at any time in the semester from the end of the add period to the very end of the semester. 
  • they can customize questions they want to ask by selecting appropriate questions from a preexisting bank of questions or writing their own. Thus, instructors using this system can focus on what is most important to them.
  • reports generated by this system are completely confidential: neither chairs, academic administrators nor students will ever read an instructor’s CFI reports.

How do I set one up?

Instructors can “opt in” to the system at After opting in, instructors set a start and end date (we suggest giving students about a week to fill out the survey). After you have set the dates, the system will present you with a bank of questions. You must choose questions (they do not appear automatically.) You can select up to 12 questions, including open-ended and rating-scale questions (you can ask all of one kind or you may mix and match). Make sure to use the Preview function to check your questions before you click the submit button to submit your questions. You CANNOT change questions after you submit them.

When can I use a CFI?

CFIs can be used any time after the add period through the end of the semester.

Please remember that an you will not be able to see feedback until after the date the survey closes. If you close the survey mid-semester these reports can help an instructor find ways to improve a course as you teach it. If you close the survey at the end of the semester, the CFI can help you prepare for future semesters.

Who is eligible to set up a CFI?

Any Penn instructor, except those in Wharton and teaching MD classes, can create a CFI. You must be listed in Penn’s Student Registration System as an instructor on the course with teaching load greater than 0% in order make use of a CFI for a course. Check with the academic administration in your school or department to resolve any issues with your instructor assignment.

What if I don't see the CFI Questionnaire Task on my dashboard?  

Courses with fewer than 5 students will not be eligible to use the CFI system. If your course began the semester with 5 or more students and then drops below 5, the CFI questionnaire task will disappear.

In addition, instructors at Wharton and those teaching classes for MDs cannot use the CFI system at this time.

My students haven't been notified that the system is open.  What should I do?

Return to the question personalization task and make sure you have clicked “submit” rather than “save.”

What should I do if I run into technical problems with the system (especially if it crashes and I've lost my questions)? 

First, make sure to click “save” regularly as you are completing the question personalization task. Second, you may need to use a different internet browser. If you continue to experience problems, please contact

How can I make sure most of my students fill out the CFI?

The best way for you to increase the number of students filling out the CFI survey is to talk with students about the CFI in class. Reassure them that the survey is completely anonymous (there is no way for you to know whose response you are reading) and that you intend to use it to improve the class for them and students you have in the future. Make the survey relatively short and tell them this will take just a few moments of their time. Finally, tell the students their feedback is important to you. Although the system will send email reminders, you may also want to send an email from you reminding them and to place a link to the survey on your Canvas site if you have one. For confidentiality reasons, the system will not enable you to see which students have or have not responded.

 What website do students use to fill out the reports?

Students use the same website as instructors:

How will my students know about the CFI?

The system sends out emails to the students with the website when the system opens and sends out reminders to the students at regular intervals reminding them to fill out the survey.

When will I see the report?

A report is available immediately after the system closes at midnight on the end date you have set. (It is possible to set the time for sometime other than midnight but it may confuse students who will expect to be able to fill out the survey during the entire day). They will be available at

Is it possible to see student responses as they come in?

No. Allowing instructors to read responses as students fill them out could jeopardize the anonymity of those responses.

If you experience problems not listed on this page or have comments or concerns about the CFI please contact