This article first appeared in the Teaching Professor on March 11, 2019. © Magna Publications. All rights reserved. How many of us teachers have had this experience?
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
This article first appeared in the Teaching Professor on October 15, 2018. © Magna Publications. All rights reserved. In August 2017, Inside Higher Ed featured an article describing a controversial “stress
*This article first appeared in the Teaching Professor on August 1, 2018. © Magna Publications. All rights reserved. As instructors, we often assume that students
Each semester, I receive student evaluations from the courses I have taught the previous semester. Similar to most professors, I’m sure, I open the document
There are numerous expectations in any faculty role, many of which are learned on the job. In my case, I was terrified when I became
Those who write about teaching persona (the slice of our identities that constitutes the “public teaching self”) encourage us to start by reflecting on the messages we want to send to students. A dialogue with ourselves is a useful beginning, but for the last days of a semester another option might be more intriguing and revealing.
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 administered at odds with research-recommended practices. And faculty aren’t happy with the feedback they provide. A survey (Brickman et al., 2016) of biology faculty members found that 41% of them (from a wide range of institutions) were not satisfied with the current official end-of-course student evaluations at their institutions, and another 46% were only satisfied “in some ways.”
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 advantages but also advantages for students: students can take as much (or little) time as they wish to complete the form, their anonymity is better preserved, and several studies have reported an increase in the number of qualitative comments when evaluations are offered online. Other studies document that overall course ratings remain the same or are slightly improved in the online format.