The student evaluation system is used throughout the nation in order to rate university professors. Many schools utilize this system as one of their main measures for re-hiring staff members. But is it fair to rate a professor strictly off of their student evaluations?
At first glance, one would argue that it is fair because student education should be the most important aspect of the university.
However, there are many different variables which can skew the honest results of these evaluations. First, some students do not do the evaluation or they do not take the time to actually rate the professor. It is unfortunate for the professor because they may not receive the ratings that they deserve because a student was too lazy to fill out an evaluation. Giving a student this kind of power can hurt the chances of a professor being re-hired. The student body needs to do a better job at filling out the evaluations in order to give the university administration a better idea of who is presenting course material in a beneficial manner.
Second, students have a tendency to base their evaluation on their grade. I feel these evaluations rid students of accountability. Meaning, if their grade is poor, they believe it is the professor’s fault rather than their own. I am not completely blaming the student body, because I believe there are some situations where the professor is to blame. But, college is about taking accountability for your actions and there is not an accurate way to measure a student’s effort level in a class through a survey.
I would love to say every student enters an honest effort level into those evaluations but that’s definitely not the case. This is not to condemn the student body but to indicate that basing a professor’s performance off of student opinions can have its risk for error. While I do feel that it is important for student voices to be heard, I feel that there should be a more honest and less flawed way of evaluating a professor’s work.