Faculty discusses course evaluation format: Feb. 1 faculty meeting focuses on structure of course evaluation system

Posted by Emily Singer

During the Skidmore faculty meeting that took place Feb. 1, professors came together to resolve the potential new layout of the course evaluations. The evaluations, or "dean's cards," that students fill out at the end of each semester helps professors receive feedback on the way their class is running and dictates if any adjustments to the curriculum are necessary. Professors want the cards to become more technical and logistical, with better language, different ordering of questions, and the omittance of the "N/A" section students had the option of filling in before.

The changes would allow teachers to better learn from their perceived strengths and weaknesses and consequentially improve their course based on the feedback they receive. The largest issue, though, is whether or not these changes will clarify feedback as certain added categories and questions will pertain more to specific subjects. A resolution is yet to be reached regarding this new layout.

Aside from discussion of the possible new evaluation cards, many faculty members were welcomed back from sabbatical leaves they had taken during first semester. There was talk about the AAC&U (Association of American Colleges and Universities) conference that some faculty had attended over winter break, which focused on staff workload issues and how that can become more balanced. Other topics included E-learning and sustainability on campus. For each subject of discussion, it was reaffirmed that Skidmore, in spite of the presence of room for improvement, was in very good standing.

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