Letter to the Editor
Posted Oct. 19, 2007

Dear Editor,
In regards to the call for improvements on the course evaluations (“Evals in need of examination,” Sept. 28), this is long overdue. I have always filled out the evaluations because the instructors have stated that it is mandatory before grades are posted, and some have given extra credit points on grades for each student that completes the evaluations.

I could even go so far as to say that an instructor or two have stated exactly what they would like (off the record) mentioned on the evaluations. Our academic advisers tell us that the evaluations are confidential and that grades cannot be withheld for not completing them.

However, in the editorial it stated that administrators were debating withholding grades for the completion of the evaluations.

This has already been compromised in the fact that the threats by instructors have already been made on a regular basis in regards to not issuing grades.

Also, you stated that the instructors do not see the evaluation comments until after the grades have been turned in; however, it has always been said that the evalulations are confidential and the instructors never see the “comments” part of process. Which is it? Do they see all of the evaulations or just the multiple choice sections? And here is the million dollar question: If the instructors see the comments and there are specific details involved, so they can figure out who made the post; then how can that student be treated fairly when taking another course with the same instructor? Fear is mainly why students do not fill in the evaluations.

The second reason why most probably do not take the evaluations are because the questions are geared toward areas that won't improve the situations; only answer exactly what the reader wants to hear. You want real answers, then ask real questions! Then be prepared to handle the truth.

Third, do not withhold grades or students will not answer truthfully. They will only skip the question or pick any button to press.

Fourth, give the students a forum to report abuse by instructors and students, other than in the evaluations and academic advisers. Audit classes without the instructor knowing who you are; be the student and get the real truth.

Fifth, start over from scratch with the evaluations and take questions from students/instructors/panelists-committees/staff/etc. Make the new one a grand one that far surpasses any other university. ULV is supposed to be one of the best, if not the best university to attend – now make it so.

Corralee Longdin
Graduate Student

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