You probably have three unread course evaluation emails and you probably zoned out when your professor mentioned it was open in class. Well, I’m going to tell you why the ten minutes you take out of your day to finish your course evaluations matter.
Every course you’ve taken this semester, whether you loved it or hated it, you felt something. You probably told your friend excitedly about how much you loved a lecture or complained to your roommate about an assignment requirement. But none of your opinions really matter until the faculty is aware of them. Trust me your professor loves it when you say you found a topic interesting, ask a question or participate in discussions. But you know how you can really show your gratitude? By filling in your course evaluations. Those few minutes you take to fill them in are not just lost on some online website, they’re part of data that the faculty relies on to prepare and plan for the next batch. We keep the cycle going. And as part of this institution, don’t we want to keep improving? You get to be a part of that improvement by giving feedback on your experience of the course — because it matters.
And hey, maybe things didn’t go so well. Maybe you didn’t have the best experience and you found a bunch of faults. Well, that’s even more important then. Like I said, we need to keep improving as an institution. But how can professors and TAs improve if they never know the problem? The thing is everyone wants to improve. But if there’s just ambiguous and vague complaints that people “hear of”, it’s very hard to know how to move from point A to point B. And that’s exactly why course evaluations are designed to ask you questions that require direct answers so that you can contribute to the classroom environment the next batch has.
Also for all of you who think your professor is going to find out and “get back at you” — your professor does not and will never know who said what. The answers are recorded as confidential. That being said — don’t make it personal. The moment you deviate from the course and its learning environment, that’s when things could get tricky. As students we expect constructive feedback on our essays and assignments that we pulled those all-nighters for, so it’s only fair that we give our professors’ constructive feedback on their teaching material!
Hopefully you realize the importance of your feedback. The faculty needs us to tell them what’s working and what isn’t. Your professor deserves to hear what you think — whether the feedback is good or bad. The deadline for course evaluations is tomorrow. You have one day. One day and it doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes. I don’t know, just do it over lunch or something.