As the semester draws to a close, Amy Walton recommends dedicating some time to frame course evaluations for students.
Student ratings of teaching are often criticized as a means of evaluation. They reflect individual students’ thoughts and biases and therefore do not paint a full picture of the classroom experience. However, they have use as a tool to gather students’ perspectives on teaching, course materials, and course design. Fostering better participation in evaluations means more helpful information for instructors and course designers.
Here are some tips for encouraging thoughtful participation:
- Explain to students the purpose and audience for the surveys.
- Display the course objectives and ask students to consider the ways they have worked toward these goals.
- Remind students of past experiences when you have responded to student feedback (such as through midterm surveys).
- Share with students this CELT resource with examples of constructive feedback.
- Offer time at the start of a class period for students to take time to think out their responses and complete the survey. Excuse yourself during this time.
- Offer extra credit if at least 80% of the class participates (you can check the participation rate using the “My Surveys” tool on Canvas).
See this page for other strategies with course evaluations from CELT.