The Importance of Course Evaluations — for Students

Yesterday I received an email from one of my communications professors urging us to fill out class evaluations. I actually received emails about class evaluations from all my professors, now that I think about it. But this one was different. My professor took the time to explain to us why class evaluations were important for us, as students. He said that when he was a student, he would’ve had to overcome several obstacles in order to give feedback about his professors. He reminded us of the power we hold as students and urged us to take advantage of the opportunity to provide our input about our professors and classes.

This email really made me think about the power we hold as students. It is interesting to think about the fact that the feedback we give about our professors determines their evaluations, promotions and so on. The opportunity afforded to us in the form of class evaluations is something that we should absolutely take advantage of, but instead its something that we often dread. I think its important for us to realize how lucky we are to be able to evaluate the people responsible for our education and have a part in determining who stays and who goes.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that this email really changed the way I view course evaluations. I am thankful that my professor brought this to my attention and I am also thankful that the university allows us this opportunity to provide feedback and have some kind of control in our education.

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Course Evaluations — for Students

  1. Yeah, that’s a really interesting point. It develops a democracy of sorts in schooling, being that we as students have the power to vote for or against a professor in a sense. And honestly, if the evaluations are actually read and looked into by each department, then students play an extremely vital role in the progression of a professor’s career. And I think that that is the best way to judge a professor, being through his/her class evaluations Because a department can look at a professor and call him or her fantastic because of the syllabus they produce, the grades their students get, and from course evaluations done by department chairs who sit in on their class once or twice a semester, but students really understand what works. We are the ones taking the class, and we understand, more than any department chair, if a class is truly “working.” The chair may have certain missions, but students know if those missions are achieved. So, if student evaluations are read and analyzed by departments, I agree with you Kendall in saying that they are unbelievably important. So the greater question here may not be the importance of the student in course evalutations, but rather, are the course evaluations actually read?
    -Aaron

  2. I also agree that Course Evaluations are important. I always make an effort to fill them out. I am an Ra and every year the university sends out a fall feed back survey asking students about their Ra’s work and the residence hall experience. I love reading the feed back, because it gives me a chance to reevaluate what I am doing. I get to see what I do that works and what does not work at all. In the end getting feedback is a way to better oneself . I am sure professors enjoy getting feedback as well because it allows them to “go back to the drawing board” and figure out how to make their class better.
    – Celine

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