Committee looks to increase student evaluation submissions

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Whether or not a student liked a professor, resented their classes or enjoyed a particular style of teaching, students opinions will not be heard if they are not willing to press the “submit” button on Student Course Evaluation Forms (SCEF).  

The Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) is planning to revise Pacific University’s current SCEF forms because of the lack of completed forms received. The Faculty Personnel Committee Chair, Michael Burch-Pesses, states changes will be made depending on the feedback FPC gets from both students and faculty.

“We are not attempting to change the evaluations in a vacuum,” Burch-Pesses said.

According to Burch-Pesses, the FPC hopes to compel more student participation by making the SCEF forms appear more engaging and interesting.

“We wanted to make the evaluation something that would capture student interest to the point that it would be too interesting and too interesting for every student not to fill out,” Burch-Pesses said.

Pacific’s current SCEF forms are also being changed to make the forms more effective at relaying students’ feedback to their professors.

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Sarah Phillips, states the current course rating system that asks students to rate a course from 1 to 10 will be changed to a more engaging value system such as a rating of “strongly dislike” to strongly like” or “not very effective” to “very effective”. This change in the rating system is to help professors get a clearer understanding of what a student does or does not like about their courses.

“Professors won’t fully know what a student means when they rate their course a 4,” Phillips said about the current systems faults.

Changes to the current SCEF forms also aim to have the new forms avoid any bias. According to Burch-Pesses, questions such as “rate the professor” may cause students to give bias answers depending on a professor’s gender and culture. The FPC is planning to remove and replace the questions that could invoke bias answers.

The revised SCEF form is planned to be completed by the end of this semester and implemented by the beginning of the next academic year.

“I am not sure a form like this can be perfect,” Burch-Pesses said. “But I do think it is a great step forward.”


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