Near the end of each term, many schools ask students to evaluate their courses and teachers. This helps instructors determine if they met their objectives and understand ways to improve the curriculum and teaching methods. However, not all evaluations provide adequate information to assess a course, so schools and instructors should work together to create an evaluation format with questions that not only help teachers but will benefit future students as well.
Before you begin creating questions for the evaluation, you must first determine the format you will use. Some schools use scale ratings, giving students options such as excellent, good, neutral and poor. Another format asks a question that requires students to write out their answers. Each format has positive and negative attributes, and the option you choose may in some cases depend on school policy. No matter which question format you choose, give students ample space at the end of the evaluation to express their general thoughts about the class.
One section of the evaluation should ask students about the curriculum, the content of the course. This will help instructors determine whether students value the information provided and whether the course is an asset to them. You may also hear how a student feels about his or her learning outcomes. Good questions may include the following: “Did the class add to your career or education goals?” “Did the instructor outline course objectives, and, if so, do you believe you met these objectives?”
Most courses require textbooks or other sources of information to aid in learning. Specific questions may help teachers determine if students found the materials valuable. You may decide to ask questions such as, “Did the materials help you learn the course information?” or “Would you recommend continuing to use the current course materials for upcoming classes?” These questions may be significant for instructors who are considering changing textbooks or other course materials.
Although instructors may have a difficult time hearing their personal shortcomings, teachers need to know what students see in the classroom. You may ask, “Does the instructor communicate concepts in a clear and interesting way?” or “Does the instructor offer to help students outside of class if necessary?” Other good questions may include, “Does the instructor grade fairly?” or “Would you take another course from this teacher or recommend the teacher to other students?” The questions you ask may vary depending on any difficulties students expressed during the semester.
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