As students prepare for the spring semester to come to an end, many students are focused on studying for finals and writing final papers. But students are also asked to complete their course evaluations, which they receive constant email reminders about, as well as verbal reminders from their professors.
Director of University Teaching and Learning Christopher Hakala said course evaluations reconnect faculty perceptions with student perceptions of the classes. He said the evaluations also recreate a better overall learning environment for the future.
If the course evaluations are properly used, they impact the way professors teach their classes and it improves student learning, Hakala said.
Though Hakala said the course evaluations are not mandatory, some students–like freshman Sarah Schwartz–don’t see the evaluations as optional because of how often they are reminded via email or by their professors.
“I personally believe that it’s up to the students if they want to complete [a course evaluation],” Schwartz said. “It shouldn’t be a requirement. I think that everyone should have a choice.”
But sophomore Kathleen Pinaud said she doesn’t mind taking the course evaluations because she thinks the evaluations are helpful for both students and professors.
“It gives something for the teacher to understand,” Pinaud said. “It will allow professors to fix regulations for future classes.”
According to Schwartz, students may not always be truthful in their course evaluations. As a result, Schwartz said she views the evaluations as “a waste of time.”
QU Seminar Professor and Admissions Counselor Jeanne Liu said she thinks course evaluations are great for both students and professors.
“It is the perfect venue for students to express the likes and dislikes with the course material, professor and overall style of the course,” Liu said. “It helps the students feel invested in the course and empowered to help shape the learning experience for future students.”
Media Studies Professor Terri Corigliano said course evaluations are a great way to find out what students thought of his course and teaching style.
“I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback saying I’ve helped people,” Corigliano said. “Course evaluations are great ways to express opinions and I always like to learn from students.”
Corigliano said course evaluations are like questions received from polling institutes—some people wish questions were worded differently or had more room for personal feedback.