If you are a student at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, then certainly you have been receiving emails regarding your lecturer evaluations. To increase the rate of lecturer evaluations, UWI has, in the past made offers to reward lucky student evaluators. I can no longer evaluate lecturers but instead I need to sign the dreadful supervisors reports. When I did evaluations, the class representative would give us the forms to complete just before or after the professor being evaluated delivers the lecture. Now, all that is done online. Progress. However the offering of prizes and the frequency at which emails are sent encouraging students to complete evaluation forms online indicate that students are just not evaluating the lecturers.
Why Not? Let us evaluate the reasons.
- Students are just not interested.
- Its flogging a dead horse. Many students, myself included don’t believe any action is taken post lecturer evaluations. I remember in my first year there was a particular lecturer that we absolutely despised. The lecturer was very wicked, but I won’t get in to the details of their exploits. We were asked to evaluate said lecturer and based on the information I gathered literally everyone gave the lecturer the lowest score (1 out of 5). Others drew a circle beside the box with one and drew a zero inside before shading it. This was a little extreme but it emphasizes the students disapproval of the lecturer. I was alarmed to see just a few years later a promotion was approved for the lecturer. There were also cases where lecturers were given maximum points but have not been rewarded accordingly. Politics. So what is the purpose of these evaluations if sanctions and rewards are not issued accordingly.
- Incorrect method of encouraging compliance. Each student uses the online learning environment set up by UWI. To encourage students to evaluate lecturers, they may incorporate a pop-up which forces students to complete the form before accessing their learning tools. 100% compliance guaranteed.
If these suggestions are addressed, then only improvements will results.
– Aldeam Facey 2016