132

Being a good teacher and being a good researcher are distinct skills. If someone has a job that requires both skills, they should be being evaluated on both.


42

It sounds like you've encountered the well-known downside of online disinhibition effect, more colloquially known as GIFT. There is simply nothing that can be done to prevent some people from being horrible when offered anonymity. So, let's parse out two different questions about how you should react: 1) what actions should you take to protect yourself and ...


42

Is this typically done at most American universities, irrespective of a professor's age, status or fame? Yes. It's likely a required process of the administration, as negotiated in the faculty contract. It's probably not something your department has any say over; and in a case such as you describe, the resulting product is likely to be mostly ignored. ...


41

Evaluations only tell you whether your students liked you or not. Your main goal, however, is to have students learn the material and develop their intellectual skills, not to have them like you. Have experienced colleagues sit in on your classes and give you feedback, and have colleagues look at your assessments and the students' performance on them (with ...


40

In my experience, people don't generally put teaching evaluation scores on a CV at all, regardless of what they are.


39

Yes, promotion and hiring committees look at Google Scholar, especially in fields like computer science where Google's citation data is more comprehensive than other sources like Scopus, which misses many citations of and by conference papers. In this respect, Google Scholar hasn't really changed the way people are evaluated, though; we've just replaced one ...


38

You must die! You're so cool! These are, at the two ends of the spectrum, example comments that I have received from students along the years. You will find students who love you, those who like you, those for whom you are indifferent, those who dislike you, and those who plainly hate you. This regardless of what you do as a teacher, that is, even from week ...


31

I take a compromise approach to the problem of bringing materials to an exam. I allow students to bring one or two sheets' worth of notes that they have prepared themselves. No magnifying glasses or other "reading aids" other than standard prescription glasses are allowed, so they can't simply photoreduce a whole bunch of pages and then use it—it's something ...


28

I'm in Australia, and from my experience, almost every unit is evaluated every semester that it runs in pretty much all Australian universities. There might be a few exceptions, but this is just standard practice. The standard survey consists of a bunch of closed ended questions and then some open ended questions for more qualitative feedback. From this ...


23

It's a good question, and one that's rather difficult to answer. I'll say a few things though. being able to judge your own level of progress and evaluate yourself honestly but fairly is a crucial part of your development. After all, you won't have an advisor for very long, but you'll be a researcher for a long time. So it's good that you're asking this ...


19

It depends on what they are evaluating, and how. I studied at a university in a mess of a country that was recovering from a period of war. The educational system was not just depressingly dated, it was also falling apart at the seams. Enthusiasts were trying to reform the system, and one of the bigger pushes in the right direction was achieved through ...


14

I am in mathematics, so my experience will be different from yours. What I have found with tests on which I have allowed students to use their text or notes is that the students have not prepared as well as they should have, and waste a lot of time looking for things in their notes. Ultimately, they end up doing worse, as a class, than they usually would. ...


14

What is the most effective way to communicate with your instructor via evaluation-sheet? In a word, constructively. If you are overly negative, there's a good chance you will be viewed as a malcontent with an axe to grind. If you'd like to maximize the chance for real improvement, avoid blanket negative statements. For example, instead of: This ...


14

From the OP's comments: Evaluations the students gave the OP: [...] there are like 3-4 students with really low evaluations. Grades the OP gave the students: I had about 20 who received As, around 12 Bs, around 10 in C range, 1 D and an F. I don't know if I'm misunderstanding, but it sounds like in a class of 44 students, about 8% gave very poor ...


13

Why do admissions committees consider the Statement of Purpose to be important? This question assumes they do consider it important, but how it's actually viewed varies enormously between departments. In mine, it's not considered particularly important for most applicants. If your statement is pretty good, then that's good enough (nobody was ever admitted ...


13

I would ask that the teachers try to also be understandable for those of us with testing anxiety. I was always very thankful to have notes or the text with me during tests because it allowed me to relax some and actually be able to focus when answering questions without fear of forgetting some small detail. I also found that I prepared more when allowed to ...


11

The major quantifiable predictor of success in research is... success in research. People who have done research successfully in the past are more likely than not to continue to do so. For students that have not done research in the past, the best predictor I have seen for success (whatever that may be) is expressed in a quote from The Unwritten Rules of ...


11

A short answer, but I believe that it answers your question: Threats of violence correlate with, but don't cause, violence. As such, eliminating the medium that enabled that student to anonymously communicate threats of violence, as you have proposed to do, does not reduce the probability that one of them will act violently. However, it does ensure that no ...


10

Grade inflation has been an issue in the US since mid 1970s, so welcome to the club. See http://www.endgradeinflation.org/. None of the attempts to curb it have been successful so far; the practice of student evaluations is deep-rooted in US colleges, and cannot be easily modified. The uphill battle against grade inflation has been spearheaded by University ...


10

One excellent reason for requiring a statement of purpose is to make sure that applicants have "done their homework." Have they taken into account who works in the department, and what can be done there? Can they formulate ideas for projects they'd be interested in working on? Furthermore, writing ability is a very critical factor for success as a researcher;...


10

You can't. Probably this is a bit strong, but I think that in general you can not grade or judge your own thesis or assess its quality in any way. You are hopefully very critical with yourself and this is good. Your advisor and others referees for your thesis can and will grade your thesis and should provide a report which you may be able to read (depending ...


10

The answer, from new research approaches dating from 2010, seems to be that increased learning tends to cause lower scores on students' evaluations of teaching (SET), but this is a complicated issue that has historically been a bone of contention. There is a huge literature on this topic. The people who study this kind of thing the most intensely are ...


10

That "Regular Full-time Tenured Faculty ... Shall be evaluated at least once in every three academic years" is part of my institution's faculty contract (collective bargaining agreement). I doubt this is an unusual provision. If they are public, check out the terms under which your professors work!


9

Computer science is typically badly under-represented in the "traditional" citation indices, which do not consider conferences to be peer-reviewed publications. As any computer scientist knows, that is a bad joke: many computer science conferences are much more stiffly reviewed and difficult to enter than most journals. It is for this reason that DBLP ...


8

My feeling is that unless there are funding issues, there would be some resistance to firing a postdoc unless there were real problems: the startup cost/time for a new postdoc can be high. Having posted ads like these myself before, I can say that one non-funding-based reason to mention a 1-2 year postdoc is to allow for a hedge in case the hired person ...


8

To J.R.'s answer focussing on constructive comments, I would add that the comments are often more useful if they are specific, rather than general. A specific comment gives the lecturer something precise to focus on when making improvements. For example, stating that the description of endoplasmic reticulm was unclear or the first part of lecture 2 went ...


8

The real question is what you're attempting to test. If the proposed notes are material which the students are going to need "off the cuff" -- data and operations which are absolutely basic to the discipline they're learning -- then it makes sense to test whether they have memorized it, since consulting reference materials every time will slow them down too ...


8

Actually, based on my experience, it is better to ask the questions to the students at the end of the next semester. During the semester, an average student usually concentrates on passing the course, rather than thinking about the outcomes of the course. I think one realizes what the course gave him/her after about one semester. And this is the time that ...


8

I wanted to chime in with a few other possible routes for getting student feedback throughout the semester in a way that may reduce unproductive/abusive comments. If you have a teaching center at your institution, take advantage of their resources. I have been at a number of institutions where you can arrange for a member of the teaching resource center to ...


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