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Is it a good practice that a university informs the students of a class about the final outcome (that is, the overall score of the instructor based on the evaluation forms) of their own evaluation of a professor or a course?

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    This is not an opinion forum. So answers should not merely be opinions. Perhaps there has been a study on this question, then the results of that study could be an answer. Perhaps a professional organization has issued a policy statement on this. That could be an answer.
    – GEdgar
    Aug 14, 2018 at 13:44
  • What "final outcome"? Like an email every quarter saying "Based on your reviews of PSYCH 121, we have decided to renew Professor X's contract"? Aug 14, 2018 at 20:54
  • @AzorAhai An explanation was added.
    – Name
    Aug 15, 2018 at 0:59
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    @Name Oh, can you not see those? We can look up scores by instructor, by class, and even get break downs on how may 1s, 2s, etc they got Aug 15, 2018 at 1:03
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    @AzorAhai Different institutions have different practices. For example, my (US public) university administration considers teaching evaluation scores to be extremely confidential, even refusing to release them in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, on the grounds that they are employee evaluations.
    – JeffE
    Aug 15, 2018 at 19:50

1 Answer 1

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If a complete process is put in place such transparency can be a good thing. However, doing half a job can be destructive.

I'll note that there are public fora in which students can Rate My Professor publicly. Some of the comments made there are very negative and hurtful. However, when such occurs, other students can counter the negative reviews with their own observations.

In light of this and my own use of soliciting anonymous feedback from students in a public form, I suggest that it is positive, provided, and provided only, that students seeing the feedback have a public way to respond - probably anonymously.

Yes, I realize that this can result in endless bickering, but it was never my experience. Bad reviews by bad actors countered by good reviews from good actors is pretty obvious, just from the tone of the replies. No one needs to make official judgements of the responses, as they speak for themselves.

I'll note that while this is opinion, it is backed by fairly long experience.

Many professors might fear such a system, but, for me at least it was entirely positive, even though some of my reviews were very negative. Better it be out in the open than just passed invisibly via gossip in the quad.

I'll add that I never had to reply to public negative reviews myself. If they were truly invalid, the students would put the record straight themselves. If they were valid, well, then, I needed to adjust something. I therefore wouldn't suggest that the professor's replies should be made public. For me it was never needed.

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    I'm not sure if this answer's the OP's question. My reading was this is about releasing numerical ratings rather than comments. (In particular, there would likely be no way for students to refute other students' reviews post facto.)
    – Kimball
    Aug 15, 2018 at 4:07

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