Student Evaluation of Courses at Kalamazoo College
Croxford, Lynne Louise
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For the past seven years the College administration has attempted to monitor student opinion through the Senior Faculty Evaluation, a mimeographed questionnaire distributed to graduating seniors. The questionnaire is in itself faulty. The criteria on which students are asked to rate their instructors are vague and overlapping. Respondents are asked to evaluate all of the instructors that they have ever had in the course of their college career, though their memories of course they had taken in their freshman year are dim and unreliable. Finally, in surveying only graduating seniors, the College misses a large segment of the student body, approximately fifty per cent of those who enroll as freshmen, who do not graduate. These students may have left the school because of the quality of the instruction they received. Student surveys do have a valid place in the evaluation of instruction. They can be of value to the faculty, the student body, and the administration. With such a tool the faculty can receive feedback on how effective their courses are. With such a tool the student body can be more discriminating and critical about what they are taught and hopefully more involved in the educational process. Student morale can even improve. And with such a tool the administration has a basis for evaluating the quality of instruction on which the eventual success or failure of the institution depends.