After another semester, students of Boise State have had the opportunity to evaluate their professors efficiency. Course evaluations were collected until Dec. 12 by the administration to help determine professor growth for 2014.
“They’ve always been quite important,” said Jim Munger, Ph.D., vice provost for Academic Planning. “It’s a key aspect of feedback that you get about how things
Munger also instructs biology at the university.
Evaluations are required to be offered by every instructor in either online form or paper form. Student participation is not required. Participation rates for completing evaluations ranges from between 50 and 60 percent Munger said. Moving to online evaluations in 2010 has helped increase response rate since it has allowed students to respond anywhere, anytime rather than in their class where they have only so much time.
Munger explained that students who don’t participate can expect to not have their voices heard.
“If you don’t say something nobody’s going to respond,” Munger said.
Evaluations play a role in professor advancement as well as development. Pay raises and promotions for professors are influenced by the evaluation system. Rewards may be granted to professors with consistent positive reviews over those who receive consistent negative reviews.
After the evaluation period ends, evals are available to professors after final grades have been distributed to prevent professors from altering grades out of malice. Conversely, the student eval period also ends before final grades so that professors won’t be graded poorly out of spite.
Who’s Doing Them?
“I’d like the professors to take them seriously—some of them do and some of them don’t,” said Tia Alslaben, junior communication major.
Alslaben has done every eval for every professor since she has been coming to the university.
Students do not know the outcome of their evaluations, whether professors are actually changing since they may not have that professor again. The student body must rely on department chairs and deans to see that professors are receiving the development they need.
“A lot of professors just stay the same, no matter what,” Alslaben said.
But for some, evaluations are a necessary outlet for frustrations about classes. Tanner Barker, a senior history major, found out from a professor that an entire assignment was left off the syllabus and was vital for his final grade.
“Not updating the syllabus with new assignments we were supposed to do caused many of us to get a much worse grade than we would have otherwise,” Barker said. “He didn’t set proper expectations for the course.”