History & Policies

History of Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching at Western


Course Feedback Dates

Policy on Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching

A fully history of Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching (with supporting documents) is included in this timeline.

Excerpt from the Provost's Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning report recommendations

Approved by Senate on June 27, 1997: (View the complete document from which this excerpt was taken)

University-wide instrument for student evaluation of teachers and courses

The recommendations outlined in this document were approved by the Senate Committee on University Planning in its May 1996 meeting.

Pursuant to Recommendation 1.7 of Leadership in Learning, the University's strategic plan, the Provost's Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning (PACTL) recommends that the attached evaluation form be adopted as the standard, university-wide instrument for student evaluation of teaching in undergraduate courses at The University of Western Ontario. Data from this instrument could be used in relevant sections of a faculty member's teaching dossier, and in addition, could provide useful feedback on teaching to instructors and unit heads. Although it is anticipated that the proposed instrument would be used on a campus-wide basis for annual performance assessment and promotion and tenure purposes, individual faculties and departments would be free to supplement the standard evaluation form as they see fit.

PACTL believes that the proposed evaluation form has the following advantages: (1) it assesses a wide range of teacher characteristics, e.g., clarity, organization, availability for consultation, and fairness of exams; (2) it uses a 7-point "evaluation" rating scale that provides more definitive information and allows more room for variation than the typical 5-point , agree-disagree rating scale in current use; (3) it provides information on student characteristics, such as class attendance and expected grade, that might be useful to promotion and tenure committees in interpreting evaluation results; and (4) it includes supplementary written comments on instructor and course quality that are intended to provide useful diagnostic feedback to instructors, unit heads, and curriculum committees.

PACTL recommends that the proposed university-wide evaluation form be administered according to the following guidelines:

  1. The evaluation form will be administered at the beginning of a regular class period during the last three weeks of the academic term.

  2. The instructor will be absent from the classroom during the administration of the evaluation form and students will respond anonymously.

  3. Results based on a minimum of 5 respondents per instructor will be distributed to appropriate parties (as defined below) only after final course grades have been submitted to the Registrar. If there are less than 5 respondents, analysis and reporting of data as described in Section 5 will be suppressed.

  4. Data from Sections 1 and 2 of the evaluation form will be provided to the instructor and to the Chair and/or Dean for use in performance appraisal and promotion and tenure decisions.

  5. Data from Sections 2 and 3 of the evaluation form will be published by the University and made available to the University Students' Council for distribution to students for purposes of course selection.

  6. Data from Section 4 of the evaluation form will be provided to the instructor only for purposes of teaching improvement.

  7. Data from Sections 3 and 5 of the Evaluation Form will be made available to the instructor and Chair and/or Dean for the purposes of course improvement.

The proposed university-wide instrument for student evaluation of teachers and courses will ensure a standard format for the gathering of student feedback about instructors and courses (exclusive of clinical teaching undertaken in the Faculty of Medicine). In order to facilitate the analysis and distribution of these data, the Office of Institutional Planning and Budgeting will assume responsibility for processing the data and making the raw data available to faculties for their own analyses. The Office of the Registrar will work with the University Students' Council to ensure that data for all courses and instructors are available electronically for the USC' s distribution.

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