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Grading Faculty

Page history last edited by Anne McKinney 12 years, 6 months ago

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See bottom of page for photo information. 

Evaluation

In addition to the evaluative process of grading your students based on their performance on assessable assignments, your students will be submitting evaluations assessing your success as an instructor. Unfortunately, you can't bribe them to write glowing evaluations of you (legally, anyway).

 

What you can do is remind your students to take the evaluation process seriously. Constructive criticism can help you guage what has been effective in your pedagogy, and which areas might need adjustment or clarification. Was a particular assignment confusing? Did many students have difficulty downloading a program you wanted them to use, or access books or online resources you wanted them to read? If there is a pattern to their responses, it may be an indication that something could stand to be examined for possible improvement.

 

Of course, there's no accounting for the stray evaluation that blames the instructor for the student's own failings. These are at their most helpful when they are printed out and used to line the bottom of a bird cage.

 

Just For Fun

Social networking sites Facebook and MySpace both offer applications for users to share their evaluations of university faculty in forums that are open to anyone in those networks. In MySpace, users can assign faculty "report cards" with letter grades for pedagogical aspects like grading, fairness, homework, accessibility, etc., as well as a section for comments. Facebook has a similar application, "Rate My Professors", that's open to the public and includes an added feature that lets students rate how "hot" their faculty are with chili pepper icons.

 

While these applications can't exactly provide us with critical, scientific data to examine our effectiveness as educators, they offer a useful function for online students. Students on campus together can turn to one another for advice on selecting courses: "Have you ever had a class with ___?" "Yeah, ___ is the best professor EVER!" This narrows the gap between online students and the on-campus experience, though the effects could be farther-reaching for programs, if users can look to a program's faculty report cards before deciding whether to apply to that school.

 

If you're already on MySpace or Facebook, have you looked up any grades for your school's instructors? Would you want to know how your students would grade you? Would it be more interesting to look up the "dirt" on some of your colleagues, perhaps?

 

For added amusement, you can find some of the faculty responses to Facebook's "Rate My Professors" on MTVU's "Professors Strike Back" or vent your feelings on the Rate Your Students blog.

 

Photo on this page: Creative Commons licensed photo via Flickr, Bulmaro, by rageforst

 

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