end of semester evaluations

Course Evaluations as a Tool for Growth

I remember my first year as a tenure-track professor as a nightmare. For reasons I won’t belabor, my teaching stunk. During class, my face was red and hot with humiliation as I fumbled through the content. During lectures, I prayed that no one would ask

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Digging Deeper into End-of-Course Ratings

I worry that we’re missing some of what we can learn from end-of-course ratings. I know I was on this topic in another recent column, but student evaluations are ubiquitous—used by virtually every institution and completed by students in pretty much every course. And what

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What We Know about Online Student Evaluations

Online course evaluations are pretty much the norm now. Fortunately, the switch from in-class to online data collection has generated plenty of research that compares the two. Unfortunately, as is true for course evaluations generally, most faculty and administrators are less cognizant of the research

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male professor reviews course evaluations

What Can We Learn from End-of-Course Evaluations?

No matter how much we debate the issue, end-of-course evaluations count. How much they count is a matter of perspective. They matter if you care about teaching. They frustrate you when you try to figure out what they mean. They haven’t changed; they are regularly

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students in lecture hall

Student Reciprocal Evaluations

Student course evaluations (SCEs) are now a standard feature in higher education. However, despite the effort and credence given to SCEs, in many cases students don’t seem to take them all that seriously. They have a general impression of the course and the instructor, and

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College professor speaking with students

Benefits of Talking with Students about Mid-Course Evaluations

It takes a certain amount of courage to talk with students about course evaluation results. I’m thinking here more about formative feedback the teacher solicits during the course, as opposed to what’s officially collected when it ends. Despite how vulnerable revealing results can make a

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female student at computer

Course Evaluations: How Can Should We Improve Response Rates?

Shortly after 2000, higher education institutions started transitioning from paper and pencil student-rating forms to online systems. The online option has administrative efficiency and economics going for it. At this point, most course evaluations are being conducted online. Online rating systems have not only institutional

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Professor in empty classroom

Student Ratings—Reminders and Suggestions

Recent research verifies that when looking at small differences in student ratings, faculty and administrators (in this case, department chairs) draw unwarranted conclusions. That’s a problem when ratings are used in decision-making processes regarding hiring, reappointment, tenure, promotion, merit increases, and teaching awards. It’s another

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How to Get Better Feedback from Students

It’s that time of the year when end-of-course ratings and student comments are collected. When the feedback arrives, the quality often disappoints—and if the feedback is collected online, fewer students even bother to respond. Most of the comments are dashed off half thoughts, difficult to

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