Published On: Thu, Feb 7th, 2019

The Student Evaluation Of Teaching

What is meant by student evaluation of teaching? Usually, evaluation, or assessment, is associated with the assessment the teachers make of applicants and students upon admission, along the way in the study program and at the examination.

But the assessment also goes the other way. Students have their opinions on the teaching and how it works for them, and this can be used actively and constructively: The students can be encouraged to provide the most systematic and thoughtful evaluation of the teaching and guidance they receive, and how they experience their own learning and development in this connection, and this is what has been termed “student evaluation of teaching.”

Why should students evaluate teaching?

Student evaluation of teaching, however, does not intend to set a “grade” on the teacher, or tell how good or bad the person is doing the job. But just as the students progress through getting constructive feedback, teachers will also learn something about getting constructive feedback on how the teaching is perceived and working for the student. Students, for example, can compare the ability of lecturers to write essays, with third party, say a cheap essay writing service.

Not least, the student evaluation will help the teacher to adapt the teaching to the individual student or group’s wishes and needs; a teaching that works well for a student is not necessarily as fruitful for another. The student evaluation gives the opportunity to be able to uncover the students’ expectations and needs, and one can thus get a dialogue about content, methods, manners, expectations, requirements etc. The student evaluation will also clarify the student’s responsibility for his / her own learning; the student is not a “consumer” of teaching, but an active participant. By being challenged to reflect on how best to learn and to communicate with the teacher about this, this responsibility will be emphasized.

When should the evaluation take place? Usually one may think that it is not possible to evaluate the teaching before it is all over and one has seen how it worked. But if the student evaluation is to be used to improve and adapt the teaching for a given student or student group, it will be too late to wait until the end.

It will also seem less motivating for the students to make suggestions for changes they themselves will not enjoy. An initial feedback should therefore be carried out already a few weeks after the start of the teaching. It is an advantage to carry out more, but less comprehensive, feedback so that you can continuously check and adjust the course.

An evaluation should also be carried out if the teacher notes that something “screams”. Students can also take the initiative for an evaluation if they feel the need for it. What should be evaluated and how should it take place? Here it may be relevant to make a difference between individual, group and class teaching.

This is why we come back to below. In general, the evaluation should be focused on issues related to the specific teaching situation. Evaluation of study plans, study environment etc. will be done by the institution centrally at regular intervals.

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