Faculty evaluations need a little spice

By Sabryna Cornish

It’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas (although a few weird people have lights up already and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet), teacher evaluation time.

Students dread teacher evaluations because it seems they are a worthless waste of time. The university says they do make a difference when it comes to upping a professor’s salary, but nobody ever sees any proof of that.

How can a teacher be evaluated well if the student only answers 12 questions on a Scantron sheet? It seems the only effective way of evaluating teachers and professors would be to have the chairman of the department listen to what every student has to say about a teacher.

Of course this is impossible, but it’s a better alternative than filling in 12 stupid, little black dots.

The professors never see the evaluations, they are given a summary of what students marked. It’s beyond me how that can be helpful. What are the chances a teacher will change the style of teaching they have adapted over years? It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

The qualities students are told to evaluate also seem a little repetitive and stupid.

Questions about whether the text is good are dumb. The professor or teacher is going to use whatever text they want. Of course if it’s a 500-page book written in Latin students aren’t going to like it. They want a “See Jane and Dick” book because the test on the text would be a lot easier.

The choices for evaluating teachers are not very clear either. What exactly are “good,” “below average” and “average”? Students’ interpretations of these marks might be different. Everybody’s opinion of what is good and what is not is different. Some people might think they are having a “good” day if they are not hit by a Huskie Bus while other students might perceive that as a bad day.

It’s not right to criticize something without coming up with viable solutions, so these are some suggestions for new, better questions.

Of course this has to be a Scantron evaluation so here are your choices:

A—So excellent, I’m nominating my teacher for a Pulitzer.

B—I might possibly acknowledge the existence of my professor outside of class.

C—I’d spit on my professor’s shoes.

D—I wouldn’t be in the same bathroom with this loser.


1) Does your teacher dress in something that will remotely qualify as being fashionable? If the answer is no then you should definitely mark C because by spitting on their shoes you’ll be able to make a fashion statement of your own.

2) Does your teacher know your name? If not, B is going to be a very difficult choice to mark.

3) Is your teacher hot and happening? If you answer A, think about the serious psychological problems you might be having.

4) Does your teacher speak English? Most people will be answering E.

These are just a few small suggestions on how to improve the questions and I expect to see them on evaluations next semester.

In case my teachers are wondering, I answered A to every question, of course.