By Caleb Gasteiger |Staff Writer|
Many if not all students have filled out a professor evaluation form at least once without any knowledge of where their suggestions, criticisms and compliments end up.
CSUSB student Kathryn Wall doesn’t understand who gets evaluated and why.
“I had [to do] 3 [evaluations] on Tuesday and I was wondering why my fourth teacher didn’t get evaluated. I’ve also had teachers that I didn’t like… and I never got the chance to evaluate them,” said Wall.
Jessica Villanueva, a senior in psychology, said, “I know it affects their job, but after that, I don’t know.”
The consensus of students interviewed agreed that they have given some bad reviews as well but they don’t know what happens after they anonymously turn in the evaluation form.
Donna Gotch, a communications professor for CSUSB knows exactly what happens when students turn in the forms.
“Faculty members receive their evaluations approximately a month after classes have concluded,” said Gotch.
Students answer questions based on a 1 to 6 rating scale that deals with several different criteria and also have the opportunity to fill in the blanks with explanations on why they chose the number.
“They go to the faculty member to review them and read the comments and concerns of students. They can be and are reviewed by a committee of other faculty members for promotion, tenure, and for continuing employment at the university,” she explains.
“Sometimes the forms can be constructive, but only some,” said Gotch.
Short, nonspecific comments such as, “I like her” or “he’s friendly” do nothing for professors but a student that writes more descriptive comments such as, “I like the book because…” or “I thought that the exercises were practical especially…” can help mold future curriculum for your professor.
Students can only do and say so much on the evaluation forms. It’s what the professors do with their evaluations that makes the difference.
“Based upon the comments I receive, I alter classes, how I teach them and what I teach. I don’t think all faculty do that… No. I know all faculty do not do that,” said Gotch.
Next time students fill out evaluation forms they should be aware that what they write is taken into consideration.