This semester, the school launched a formal system for students to evaluate teachers using a survey system on Edline. The idea is to give teachers perspective on how students view their classes.
Last year this idea was tested with a few teachers, and it worked well enough that surveys were implemented school-wide. This shows that the administration really cares about what the students think and feel.
It is important that as many students participate in the surveys as possible, which can be difficult at the end of the semester when many students are busy with their school work. Current workload might lead to depressed participation numbers.
Others are turned off from taking time to complete the survey since there is no incentive. The surveys are something that students have to complete on their own time outside of class and are not getting rewarded for it. Though the surveys could change the way the class is run, some students look to the next semester and see that they will not have the teacher again. Their incentive is much lower for completing the survey.
We propose that students have some kind of incentive beyond the possibility of changes in the classroom. An academic reward is one possibility, whether it is a free 100 on a homework grade or a couple of points towards a test grade. The surveys are something done that is extra and not an assignment.
Another idea besides offering extra credit is to administer the survey during class. This can be done in two ways: through a scantron or on Edline. The teacher could pass out scantrons with a copy of the questions. This would take only a few minutes of class. The evaluations could still be completed on Edline, and teachers could take turns going to the LRC and open computer lab to complete them.
Incentive or not, students still need to fill out the surveys. Everyone should fill out the evaluation for every class because the changes that come from filling them out will benefit both students and teachers.