By KRIS FREDRICK, Staff Reporter ¦
Amarillo College officials have evaluated the way they do faculty evaluations and they are ready to make a change.
Toward the end of every semester, students are invited to evaluate their instructors. In the past, these evaluations have been optional.
“If the number of responses is low, we don’t actually get any usable information,” Frank Sobey, associate vice president of academic affairs, said.
In an effort to get more responses, evaluations soon will be mandatory for the first year Learning Framework classes, as well as for some math and biology courses. In those courses, the survey will be tied to an assignment. If the evaluation is not filled out, the assignment will not be graded.
“As a professor, it’s probably good to have more feedback than just a few people,” Lesley Ingham, a speech communication instructor, said. “That’s the way it was at WTAMU and I didn’t think much about it as a student.”
Some students said despite this change, they still might not complete the evaluations. “It just depends on when I get the email and if I feel like doing it that day,” Erica Stinson, a business administration major, said. “It might depend on what assignment it’s tied to. I might just not fill it out.”
Faculty evaluations are used by individual instructors to make improvements to their classes and are used by their supervisors for performance reviews. The evaluations could potentially impact continued employment or merit pay. “It depends on the professor. If I like them I’ll do it, and if I don’t like them, I don’t do it,” Josh Ballard, a paralegal studies major, said.
If the pilot program is successful, mandatory evaluations will be moved to the rest of the courses at the college.