Beginning in Fall 2013, students will have access to data from four prompts asked on the electronic student feedback forms, Senior Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies Peter Jones announced at the General Assembly meeting yesterday, April 22.
“We are hoping this is really going to help students in terms of searching for courses because we have made it searchable by faculty or course,” Jones said.
The university recently made a two-year commitment to provide the data to students who complete all of their assigned evaluations the previous semester.
The system will display two years’ worth of responses to four SFF prompts: the instructor provided useful feedback about exams, projects, and assignments; so far, the instructor has applied grading policies fairly; the instructor taught this course well; and I learned a great deal is this course.
However, the university will not provide any data on graduate teaching assistants or courses that yield less than 20 percent SFF participation.
“By losing access for small numbers, we hope that will encourage students to participate in the future,” Jones said.
Students will be able to access the information from a link on TUportal that will connect the students to an external website, which is still under construction.
Jones said the university plans to release the data a few weeks prior to Spring 2014 class registration, but an exact date is still undetermined.
Jones admitted that without the support of Student Body President David Lopez and his administration acting as the voice of the student body, this initiative would not have been achieved as quickly.
“It may have been achieved, but certainly not now and certainly not in this time frame,” Jones said. “I think TSG played a very important role in getting faculty committees to agree to do this because there hasn’t been widespread support from the faculty.”
TSG made two influential presentations to the faculty senate steering committee and the faculty SFF committee, Jones said.
“I truthfully think that prior to our involvement, things were stalled and after the student voice was heard, there was more movement behind the entire act. I was very grateful for that and it just shows how powerful the student voice can be,” Lopez said.
On Feb. 25, the GA passed Resolution GA/1/1.1 that stated that TSG believes that students should have access to the results of the course and professor evaluation forms.
Lopez and his administration will leave the executive office having accomplished one more goal.
“It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but it is one of the things that we are very proud of and one of the things we are happy we could accomplish,” Lopez said.
Laura Detter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.