I just got my student evaluations from last semester (which were a mixed bag). I have been thinking about evaluations and teaching a lot lately, even doing some reading on it. I’m alternating right now between Ken Bain’s What the Best College Teachers Do and Teresa Huston’s Teaching What You Don’t Know. I am always thinking about my teaching (usually through the lens of regret for not having done as well as I wanted to or in anticipation of changes to upcoming classes). An added impetus to my reflections these days is the tenure and promotion binders I have to put together by mid-September, which will include a brief, reflective teaching narrative.
Anyway, Bain’s discussion of student evaluations and how they need to address student learning rather than other things made me realize that I don’t actually know what questions my students are asked in their evaluations, other than twice a year when I actually read the evaluations. I don’t want to “teach to the evaluations” or anything, but it’s strange that my students will exercise judgment over my performance through a set of questions that I do not think about very much in advance of actual teaching.
Don’t get me wrong: I get the general idea of the questions; it’s just that my pre-course prep has never included actually looking at them. But I think it might be nice to look at them in advance from now on, so I thought I would record them here, as a reference for me and as a way of sharing them with others here and elsewhere.
The CofC Student Evaluation
The first eight questions, which are actually statements, are answered on a six-point scale that indicates strength of agreement with the statement, from “highly agree” to “highly disagree.” Students can also provide feedback in a box adjacent to the statement.
- The instructor is well prepared.
- The instructor presents material in an understandable way.
- The instructor encourages students to express themselves.
- The instructor is helpful.
- The instructor provides constructive evaluation of my work.
- The instructor is an effective teacher.
- This course stimulates critical thinking.
- I would give this course a positive rating. These are followed by an additional eight questions, with bubble answers of various kinds.
- Before enrolling in this course, how much interest did you have in taking it?
- How many classes (excused and non-excused) have you missed in this course?
- How many classes has the professor missed in this course?
- How difficult did you find this course?
- What is the number of hours per week that you spent on this course outside of class?
- To what extent have your learning skills improved as a result of taking this course?
- Was this form administered correctly?
- Please indicate your satisfaction with the availability of the instructor outside the classroom by choosing one response from the scale below. (In selecting your rating, consider the instructor’s availability via established office hours, appointments, and other opportunities for face-to-face interaction as well as via telephone, email, fax, and other means.)