10

I've seen a handful of academic teaching jobs request that the applicant send "copies of student evaluations" as part of the application.

  1. How exactly is this supposed to be done?

    • Pick and choose your favorites / all the positive evaluations?

    • Send an entire class's evaluations for completeness?

    • Emphasize well written (possibly long) ...OR...pick short and sweet but very positive?

      • Ex: "Best instructor I ever had!!!"
    • Include somewhat negative ones to demonstrate "realism"?

  2. What's the proper format?

    • PDF or doc file with paragraphs of comments?

    • An addition to the cover letter?

Etc..

In general, what's the proper way to go about (or perhaps best practices for) including student evaluations in an application??


Note: "student evaluation" = "course evaluation" (i.e., comments students make about the course/instructor).

  • 3
    Good question. In Europe, an additional challenge is that often there is just one evaluation PDF even for larger courses with many teachers, hence it is virtually impossible without context to know which comments relate to which teacher. The good news (haha) is that I have never applied to a job that gave any indication of seriously caring or even looking at my student evaluations. – xLeitix Jan 25 '17 at 18:05
  • academia.stackexchange.com/questions/83819/… – user117614 Dec 22 '19 at 6:44
6

I've been involved in three searches over the last three years. We typically only request teaching evaluations from candidates who've made our short list for phone/skype interviews since it generates an immense number of pages of material to review. We want a .pdf of all of your teaching evaluations.

If it becomes apparent that you've edited or selected evaluations the people reading them will have good reason to discount what you sent them. The only way to avoid this is to include all of your evaluations for every course that you've taught (or for more experienced folks all evaluations from the past three years or some similar period.)

You should take whatever was given to you by your institution, and convert it to .pdf format. Don't transform it in any other way.

2
+50

The proper way to go about this application, is to ask the chair of the hiring committee what they would like.

For example, maybe they want all evaluations no matter how many pages this would be (like user Brian Borchers said in their answer, since this way nothing is "cherry picked"), but I know hiring committees that don't like to be bombarded with huge documents (for example sometimes the committee will have a meeting to discuss candidates, and everyone will bring a printed copy of the complete set of application materials, so having a 100+ page document would be burdensome and shows that you didn't take the time to make things easier for them).

But maybe they neither want you to do what Brian suggests (sending them the whole thing) or what user theforestecologist suggested first (sending only parts of it), because in either case they would have no easy way to verify that you didn't forge the document. Maybe they want your institution to send this, similar to how reference letters are sent directly and not through you.

You can only know by asking the hiring committee. Considering that this question has existed for 2 years, has had a bounty on it for 1 week, and still only has one answer, means that it should be perfectly acceptable for you to ask for clarification (clearly not many people on this huge and experienced online community know definitively what to do). Furthermore, communicating actively with the committee chair can be helpful in general (even if you didn't have to ask for clarification about how to send your teaching evaluations) as long as you're not doing it excessively or pestering them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.