This blogpost and podcast is for our colleagues in higher educations, professors, the world over.
This is #1 in our series on teaching: Course Evaluations
You, your students, your dean, and the public.
The bottom line.
- If your evaluations are not up to the expectations of those who employ you:
- Your contract may not be renewed.
- You may not receive a promotion.
- You may not receive tenure.
- Poor evaluations may indicate that you may be experiencing some dissatisfaction in your field.
This is a topic that is not commonly discussed in our work environments.
Daniel: “We don’t even talk about our rate your professor dot com ratings.”
Our goal in this series is to provide helpful advice about course evaluations from our personal experiences.
The key players surrounding course evaluations.
- This is personal and confidential and goes to the very core of our ability to earn a living.
- Your Students
- Even if students are not talking so that you can hear, you can bet that they are talking about you and how they have evaluated you.
- As evidenced by the social networks students will have formed an opinion about you. It is all good information for you to know.
- Do they see you as good?
- Do they see you as an easy grader – a tough grader?
- Your Dean
- Understanding the position of your dean regarding course evaluations is essential.
- The busy dean will look for strong good patterns and read student comments. They are looking for red flags like scores that are below the average. This information helps them to determine what the next step of intervention is.
- The deans that are not that busy will use the course evaluatios as a mentoring tool to help the professor make improvements in areas where they are having difficulties.
- Sometimes deans have to continually “put out fires” and don’t have the time to help.
- The Public
- The public can become aware of evaluations when the college is required to put results on web sites as part the accreditation process.
- Know what information your college is providing to the public.
A good course evaluation will ask questions about how the students are learning. How they perceive the difficulty of the course compared to other courses. We encourage you not to dismiss those evaluations. Don’t ignore them. Our student are savvy consumers and want what is best, especially with the high cost of higher education today.
STUDENT: Am I getting what I am paying for? Is my time being well spent?
Monday, November 10, 2014
Professor at SDM IMD
Many educational institutes are run like business models where return on investment is the prime factor to ensure sustainability. In this context the students’ view that “I pay, you deliver” becomes the focus and every activity is expected to revolve around it. If the students are not “satisfied” as expressed through their feedback then the onus of proving that the instructor did a good job rests solely on the instructor’s shoulders and the chances are very slim that the instructor gets an opportunity to do so. Thus the students’ evaluations are dreaded and unfortunately become loathsome to the teaching person as long as such feedback is not an accurate description of what happened. Secondly in many places the whole process of collecting feedback is not transparent enough to convince the instructors to say that feedback is not manipulated nor the comments are selectively picked in between the lines to prove a certain point.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
SC 92 #2. Course Evals: Reactions & Emotions
How we react and feel to what our students say.
SC 93 #3. Course Evals: Focus #1: What do you do well?
Acknowledging our strengths as Professors.
SC 94 #4. Course Evals: Focus #2: What are your trends?
Learning from an analysis over time.
SC 95 #5. Course Evals: Course Organization
Are we organized and is it apparent?
SC 96 #6. Course Evals: Communication
How well are we understood?
SC 97 #7. Course Evals: Faculty-Student Interaction
How do our students perceive us?
SC 98 #8. Course Evals: Grading
How is our grading perceived?
SC 99 #9. Course Evals: Learning
Do our students believe they are learning?
SC 100#10. Course Evals: Student Engagement
Are our students engaging?
We need your feedback so we may continue to fulfill our mission statement and help students, the world over.
Daniel & David
SC 91 #1. Course Evals: The Big Picture