Some conditions

I am a faculty member at NIU who would be happy to have student evaluations of my classes made publicly available provided three conditions could be met.

1. A single form should be used throughout the university. There are people who study evaluation techniques and there are surely some of them on our faculty. With appropriate help the SA should be able to develop an evaluation form that would be valuable to students choosing classes and to faculty members being evaluated.

2. Any SA evaluation process should be integrated with departmental evaluations to limit the amount of class time used. About two years ago I received a phone call from someone at the SA who asked if I would participate in their evaluation process. I replied that I would be glad to do so if they could arrange to do SA evaluations at the same time as my department’s evaluations. I never heard from SA again.. This will perhaps be the most difficult condition of all: convince the students to participate. In my undergraduate classes, and especially in general education classes, when I announce that I am leaving early so that student evaluations can be done, most students race me to the door. In each case, no more than 40 students filled out the evaluation forms. I hope we have not reached a point at which many students who would like to read evaluations by their peers are unwilling to spend 15 minutes filling out such evaluations .

Harold Brown