Student Evaluation of Teachers
My former Troy colleague Steven Taylor notes that it’s end-of-semester student evaluation time, where amateurs give their opinions on how well professionals are doing their job and impact the latter’s prospects for promotion.
Citing several recent stories confirming, once again, that how students evaluate their professors correlates very highly with the grades students are receiving in said courses, Steven muses that this is likely to be especially true in required core curriculum courses:
Really, one has to wonder about what is really being measured in those courses: are you capturing the discontent of students who are angry that they had to take American Government because it was a requirement? Are you capturing the disgust that the student has for the subject itself? Are you capturing the fact that the student was often absent, and when he was in class he was hung-over?
All of the above, to some degree. In my evaluations in those courses, I would get contradictory comments on a routine basis. I simultaneously adhered too closely to the course text and largely ignored it, demanded too much student participation and wouldn’t allow students to interact, and so forth. The process was worse than useless in figuring out how to improve the course.