SUBJECT: Student Evaluation of the Instructor


AUTHORIZED BY: Associate Dean for Academic Affairs date: 9/27/01

APPROVED BY: Dean of the University date: 9/28/01


 The purpose of this policy is to define the procedures for student evaluation of instructors.

Student evaluation is only one part of the evaluation of instruction. Because teaching is such an important component of the evaluation of faculty members, faculty members should take care that other data is also available such as the results of classroom visitations, teaching portfolios, student letters, enrollment patterns, grade distributions, course syllabi and exams, and self-evaluation.

The student evaluation of the instructor process is required as part of the Performance Based Funding process. The University is responsible for ensuring that student evaluations will be administered in every course every term. The only exception will be sections where only a single student is enrolled. Because the funding of the University is dependent on the documentation that this process has been completed, unusually strict procedures are required. All faculty and staff members involved must be extraordinarily careful to be sure that these procedures are followed.

The evaluation process shall include all questions required by the Commission on Higher Education, USC policy requirements, by the Dean of the University, and by the Faculty Organization. The process may include additional questions from the division or the instructor.

Faculty members will not receive results of the evaluations (either partial or full) until after final grades have been submitted. The confidentiality of the student responses shall be maintained. Faculty members may not reveal to students at any time any guesses they may have about the origins of particular responses.

In consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Institutional Research Office will prepare the form that contains all questions that originate above the division level. The Division Chair will be responsible for preparing the form that contains questions that originate at the division level. Individual faculty members will be responsible for preparing any additional material they think is appropriate.

The form prepared by the Institutional Research Office will be tabulated in that office and will be retained on file for documentation purposes. A statistical summary of the results will be returned to the faculty member, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and to the Division Chair soon after the end of the semester. Faculty members may inspect these forms to verify the accuracy of the tabulations and may make copies of the original forms if they wish to do so.

The forms prepared at the division level and at the instructor level shall be tabulated by the division assistant in such a way as to preserve the anonymity of the responses. At no time may the individual faculty member see handwritten student comments. If the division form includes such comments, the division assistant will type these comments before making them available to the faculty member. At the faculty member's request, the division chair (or Associate Dean in the case of division chairs) will confirm the accuracy of the transcriptions. Because individual faculty forms must be tabulated by the division assistants, these forms must have the approval of the division chairs. Copies of blank forms used by divisions and instructors should be sent to the Institutional Research Office for the permanent file.

Procedure for campus wide forms

  1. The required forms will be designed no later than second week of the semester. Copies of all forms that will be used will be put on file in the Institutional Research Office.
  2. The Institutional Research Office will ensure that sufficient copies are made of the campus-wide form.
  3. Division assistants will be responsible for preparing individual packets for each class.
  4. Before the mid-point in the term, the Institutional Research Office will provide a form to the Division Chair listing all courses in the division. Division Chairs will return this form to the Institutional Research Office at the mid-point of the term. Courses in the division where no course evaluations will be given will be identified on the form and a rationale will be supplied.
  5. Faculty members are responsible for ensuring that the evaluation is carried out. The campus-wide form must be administered sometime between the beginning of the fourth week and the end of the third week before the last class day of the term. The specific deadline will be indicated on the instruction form.
  6. Forms must be administered to an assembled class. They may not be given to students individually or to groups of students. Forms may not be held to be given later to students who were absent.
  7. Faculty members must select a student from the class to administer the form and must leave the classroom while the forms are being completed. The student will read instructions on completing the forms that will be included in each packet, hand out the forms, collect the forms, and return the forms to a designated secure location.
  8. Students who administer the evaluation form must identify themselves on the instruction sheet and sign the instruction sheet to confirm that they carried out the instructions as indicated. The signed sheet should be enclosed in the packet together with the evaluations.
  9. Faculty members may choose to accompany the student to the designated secure location to confirm that the packets have been submitted.
  10. Those in charge of the designated secure locations shall maintain a log of received evaluations and shall forward this log to the Institutional Research Office at the conclusion of each term. The Division Offices will provide designated secure locations. Other locations will be available in Anderson Library and at Shaw.
  11. The Institutional Research Office should be called when packets are turned in. The Institutional Research Office will pick up these packets. Packets should be sent through campus mail. The Institutional Research Office will immediately record which sets of course evaluations have been received. Division assistants who collect packets should retain any division or instructor forms before they forward the packets to the Institutional Research Office. For packets submitted at Shaw or Anderson Library, the Institutional Research Office will separate any forms that originate in the division and with the individual faculty member and send these to the division assistants.
  12. Two weeks prior to the last class day of the semester, in the event of missing sets, the instructor, the division chair, and the division assistant shall be informed that the evaluations must be administered again before the last class day of the semester. The division assistant will prepare a second packet for these classes and give them to the instructor. Because of the seriousness of missing packets, instructors should sign on a log that they received this second set.
  13. Because of the University's legal responsibility to document the successful completion of the evaluation process, whether a regular faculty member has administered all of the required evaluations will be noted on the annual evaluation form. Where forms are missing, the circumstances of the situation will be documented. The missing forms will become a factor in the annual evaluation.
  14. Special faculty members who do not ensure the required course evaluations are administered will be immediately counseled by the Division Chair. The failure to administer the forms will become a factor in deciding whether to offer them contracts in subsequent semesters. The circumstances of the situation will be documented on the annual review of the special faculty member.
  15. Adjustments to this procedure for special circumstances may be made by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Any adjustments will be documented for the files of the Institutional Research Office.

Procedure for Division and Instructor Forms

The division forms may be administered as seems best to the division. The instructor forms may be administered as seems best to the instructor. However, whatever procedures are used, the anonymity of individual student responses must be maintained. These evaluations do not have to be administered on the same schedule as the campus-wide forms.


Recommended by Approved by
_____________________________ _____________________________
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dean of the University