Are College Professor Evaluations Effective?

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 11:32am
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 3:37pm

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Professor evaluations by students in college seem like a no-brainer.

At the end of each semester, college students fill out a brief, or sometimes not-so-brief, form evaluating that professors’ performance. Did they grade assignments on time? did they engage you in the class?

Richard Valtz, however, disagrees with this practice. He’s a professor of rhetoric and communication at Towson University where he’s taught for over 40 years. He argues students have almost no idea what constitutes a good class, or what makes a good teacher, and their power over teachers’ evaluations has a ripple effect. 

Now, if you’re wondering how Valtz does on his own professor evaluations, that’s not the problem.

So to really hash this out, The Show decided to get a hold of someone who is an unbiased observer. Dan Berrett, editor of teacher coverage for the Chronicle of Higher Education, said they’re intended to give that professor and his department head and administration some sense of feedback of what goes on in the classroom.

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