My inbox is usually flooded with e-mails regarding new course information, scheduling details, and other announcements from various departments at U of T. As I was scrolling through my e-mails looking for anything important, I noticed I received an e-mail about course evaluations. Not every student fills their course evaluations but by doing so, you can help yourself, your professors, and future students, so why not? With everything going on at this time of year, you might just skip over that e-mail in favour of writing that upcoming essay, but here’s why you should dedicate 10-15 minutes (that’s all it takes) to fill out your course evaluations by December 8!
You can help improve courses for future students. Did you enjoy your professor’s teaching style? Did you think the workload was fair and added to your learning? Was there something you really appreciated about the course you took? If yes, you can write these thoughts down in your course evaluations. They are all confidential (your prof won’t know what you wrote) and it can help them know what worked and what didn’t in their courses. Also, if you have a suggestion for how to make the course better (e.g. different marking style or assignments), your prof will definitely take that into consideration!
Your feedback can help students (and you) pick courses. For Arts & Science students, the ratings you record during your course evaluations are complied into an average for each category (e.g. There’s a category called “I would recommend this course”), which you can later access on Blackboard for any department or course. This can help you and future students in deciding what courses you want to take depending on professor ratings, course load ratings, and other criteria. Knowing what to expect from a course before signing up for it can be extremely helpful for most students. This information is also passed on to department heads, so you can influence the decisions regarding future course offerings.
You can help your professors out. I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve had great professors during my time at U of T, who have all been very encouraging, helpful, and made me better as a student. By filling out your course evaluations, you can let your professors know what a great job they did or give them a suggestion for what they can improve on. Nobody’s perfect, so helping your professors improve in their teaching will equally help students with their learning. Every professor I’ve had has stated how important course evaluations are to them and that they do actually READ them, so let them know what you think! Also, course evaluations can help your professors out professionally when they are looking to be promoted or tenured, so if you think they did a great job, tell them.
As I write this down, I currently have 2 essays and 3 exams left until the Winter Break. Through the flurry of writing, editing, procrastinating, and studying, filling out my course evaluations are important to me because giving feedback allows for improvement. Without our input as students, U of T won’t know what is and what isn’t working. So speak up, have your opinion heard, and help your professors out. Have a good Winter Break everyone and see you in the new year!