Teaching Evaluation Task Force Information
Information for Faculty
Course evaluation reports and schedules are created and maintained in the Office of Institutional Research.
Course Evaluation Tips for Faculty
- Set the norm and get formative feedback early. Ask students to provide feedback during the semester so this seems like part
of the normal class process (culture of feedback). This enables you to respond to
the needs of students currently enrolled in the course. The first major paper or exam
is a great time to collect formative feedback.
- Emphasize quality. Student ratings are not helpful when vague or irrelevant, whether
positive (“Great course!”) or negative (e.g., “Worst course ever.”). When evaluations
begin, post a message on Blackboard or distribute the handout “Course Evaluations: Providing Helpful Feedback to Your Professors” in class.
- Demonstrate the impact. Show students how their feedback helps faculty members, and
how it benefits fellow students. You can do this by preparing a few slides/visuals
to show students how you have incorporated past feedback into your courses or by explaining
to students how administration uses the feedback in faculty evaluations.
- Say it often. Research indicates faculty can have a significant effect on response
rates if they repeatedly communicate the importance of completing the evaluations. Tell
students directly how much you value their feedback, and post a link to evaluation
on Blackboard during the course evaluation period.
- Use class time. Allow students to complete course evaluations during class time using
laptops and smart phones, or reserve time in a computer lab for part of class. Leave
the room after assuring students that evaluations are anonymous and that faculty do
not see the comments or numbers until grades are submitted.
Information for Students
The process is completely confidential. Unless you write identifying information like
your name or the specific topic of a paper you wrote in your comments, there is no
way that the professor can see or access the name of a student who submitted a course
Facts About Course Evaluations
- Professors don’t see your ratings of the course until after final grades are submitted.
- You’re paying it forward to other students (and you benefit from other students’ evaluations)
because providing excellent feedback on evaluations helps instructors improve future
versions of their courses.
- Your evaluations help decide pay increases for professors, renewal of contracts, and
support tenure and promotion decisions.
- Even though you may receive a reminder email indicating that you have not yet completed
your course evaluation(s), the platform used to administer the evaluations is able
to determine which students have completed their evaluation(s) without knowing specifically
how they answered the questions. As such, the process remains anonymous and the students
that have not completed the evaluations receive the reminder emails
Professors often find students’ written comments the most valuable element of course
evaluations. In fact, professors tend to appreciate some feedback as opposed to none.
To help your professors get the most out of your end-of-term feedback, please keep
the following in mind:
Providing Valuable Feedback to Professors
- Remember that you are writing to your professor. Your feedback can valuably influence
the ways they teach this course and others in the future. (Unlike online review sites,
this is not a forum for saying whether or not you recommend a course to other students.)
- Specific constructive suggestions that focus on your learning are far more useful
than general praise or critiques. See below for examples of ways you can provide feedback
that helps professors understand how their instructional choices facilitated or hindered
your learning. Both positive and negative feedback is most helpful when very specific.
- Comments that are not related to your learning diminish the value of your feedback.
For example, it is not helpful to comment upon a professor’s appearance or to include
personal insults in your feedback.
- Use the 'Tip Sheet for Providing Constructive Feedback' to share your opinion in the most effective way.