When students finish their finals at the end of each semester, the last thing they are worried about is course evaluations. While these surveys aren’t mandatory, they have a large impact on the faculty being reviewed.
“I think these surveys are good because it’s giving back to the university and ultimately, you are paying for it,” said Riley Bennett, a sophomore journalism and technical communication student. “But, I don’t think they should hand out these surveys right after finals because students don’t want to fill them out at that point and it feels rushed.”
Despite the impact these surveys have, students are not required to complete them. Students have the freedom to give feedback through questions and comments.
Course surveys are handed out to students usually on the last day of classes. Once completed, the surveys are sent to the TILT Testing Center where every sheet is cataloged and sorted. These are then processed, used to created summary reports and posted in a web database for anyone with an eID to view. Students can go online and look at course evaluations for a specific class to get a better understanding of what to expect.
“Course surveys are important for two reasons,” said Vince Darcangelo, director of the university testing center. “They’re heavily used in evaluating teacher performance and teachers really like the feedback.”
Once the surveys are cataloged, they are sent to faculty to be looked over. These surveys are a part of the faculty evaluation process, and can effect the tenure process.
“(Surveys) are only one piece of our evaluations, but they are important ones,” said journalism and technical communication instructor Sarah Pooler. “It’s hard to know how we’re doing in the classroom without the surveys.”
While the surveys have an impact on faculty evaluations, professors also utilize the feedback from them to help improve their course.
“I really like the feedback and constructive criticism because it helps me to know what I need to improve on,” Pooler said. “It also really helps you connect with the students. I have to try and understand where my students are coming from, and the surveys really help with that.”
Collegian Reporter Amy Borngrebe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ABornCollegian.