Student Evaluations. What Do They Mean and What Can You Do to Improve Them?

by Chris Cumo The University of Washington in Seattle was the first American university in the early 1920s to let students evaluate their professors, writes Peter Seldin, distinguished professor of management at Pace University, in “When Students Rate Professors.” The practice spread slowly, noted Robin Wilson in “New Research Casts Doubt on the Value of Student Evaluations of Professors.” In 1973 only about 30 percent of U.S. colleges and universities mandated evaluations. Today, however, they are ubiquitous, and they have sway. George Niketas, chair of the English department at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina believes they exert the greatest […]
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