The validity of formal, end-of-semester teaching evaluations by students is politically fraught and empirically challenged: advocates say well-designed evaluations work, while opponents say most questionnaires reveal more about student biases than teaching. There are concerns, too, about how students’ evaluations should inform high-stakes personnel decisions about faculty members, such as tenure and promotion.
...(Therefore, Allison) Cook-Sather is convinced, that “pedagogical partnerships affirm students’ rights and extend their responsibilities,” which was, not coincidentally, the topic of her discussion Thursday. “The work that I’ve been doing in my practice and my research for about 20 years is really around how can students have more responsibility for their education, how can they take more responsibility for what happens in college classrooms and also when they’re not enrolled in those college classrooms.”
(Flaherty agrees with Allison Cook-Sather)
My take: I don't fall on either side. I take the side of quality classes. For the price that is being paid for education, I think professors should be responsive, but to quality feedback. And, I am not sure that partnerships that are particularly time-consuming for both the student and the teacher are necessarily the answer. Blackboard tools are becoming better and better at tracking the quality of a course and its educator. With the arrival of Ally and other tools that give institutional analytics, can schools be less reliant on (sometimes biased) opinions and lean heavier on quantitative results to make these decisions? More time for teachers to concentrate on quality courses, with more fact-based personnel decisions and less direct student involvement sounds like a good option to this former ESL teacher...
What do you think? Yay nay? Agree? Disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!