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Communications and Marketing

Online course evaluations on line

Between November 23 and December 9, students will log on to a new computerized system to evaluate their courses and professors. Those who do so by the deadline will be given a sneak peak at their grades. Those who don’t will have to wait until as late as December 23 to learn how they did in their courses.

The College is inaugurating a new system of course evaluations this fall. The new form provides students with lots of room to offer narrative comments about their courses, but it also asks students to respond to a series of specific statements about how the course was structured and the performance of the instructor. These statements ask students to agree or disagree with assertions such as, “The expectations for student performance in the course were clearly established” and “The instructor provided constructive feedback on student work.” Student responses to such statements will provide guided feedback for each instructor. There are also three areas where students may write comments about the course and the instructor. Since we learn a great deal from such comments, we hope students will provide us with rich and constructive feedback. The main purpose of soliciting feedback is to assist faculty members in improving their teaching. All student responses will be completely anonymous.

To encourage students to complete the evaluations for all of their courses, students who complete their evaluations will be able to access their final grades sooner than those who do not. Those students who do not complete their evaluations before the survey closes will have to wait until after the end of the grading period to see their final grades. The grading period ends December 22; grades may not be available for viewing until the next day. 

Teaching at the College is evaluated through a variety of means: for example, by peer observation in the classroom, or by considering how a course is designed (looking at the syllabus, assignments, etc). Student evaluations provide another tool we can use to evaluate teaching. The instructor reads students’ evaluations so that she or he can consider student opinion when reflecting on previously taught courses and preparing to teach courses in the future. The evaluations are also read by those charged with reviewing the instructor, including the Dean of the Faculty and the chair of the department. The Promotion and Tenure Committee also examines course evaluations when tenure and promotion are considered.

The new online system will open this year on November 23 and will remain open until December 9. When the evaluation system opens, students will receive an email announcement. They will be able to access surveys for the courses in which they are enrolled through the my.courses page on my.lakeforest. The only login that they will need is their login for my.lakeforest. Clicking through the link will take students to a secure server which houses the form and which will collect their responses. All responses are completely anonymous. Students will be able to complete the surveys on their smartphones or tablets, as well as computers.