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Course Evaluation

UH Hilo Policy on Course Evaluation

Within the stated period for course evaluation, faculty must offer students the opportunity to evaluate each course, using the common University form distributed through College and Division offices. The results of standardized evaluations are confidential and are accessible to the faculty member only, although a statistical summary and norms for each college and division are provided to departments. While use of the campus-approved evaluation form is mandatory, faculty members may offer students additional course evaluation opportunities.

This policy is posted on the academic policies webpage.

The UH Hilo Student Feedback form was approved by the UH Hilo Faculty Congress and the VCAA in Spring 2008; this is the official course evaluation instrument and is administered through the Institutional Research Office. About a month before the semester ends, college and division secretaries announce the availability of this form. An online version of the Student Feedback form is used for the UH Hilo Summer Session. Supplemental forms, such as the open-ended Perceived Teaching Effectiveness form, may be used as well. During the summer sessions, the Student Feedback form is offered in only format only.

The UH Hilo Institutional Researcher oversees and reports on the course evaluation process.

It is not uncommon for new faculty to receive evaluation scores lower than the norm at the beginning of their careers at UH Hilo. In such cases, faculty are advised to develop strategies for improved teaching and to report on these and their results in subsequent contract renewal and tenure/promotion documents.

The results of the standardized evaluations are strictly confidential and are returned to the faculty member only, although a statistical summary and norms for each division and college, as well as for the division/college as a whole, are also provided to departments. Faculty are encouraged to examine their students’ views and to use them constructively in developing future teaching strategies. The inclusion of the results of these evaluations in contract renewal and tenure and promotion applications is at the discretion of the faculty member, but faculty are cautioned that some objective evidence of high quality teaching is required for all applicants and that student perceptions are given great weight in evaluations.

In addition to course evaluation results, course syllabi, sample assignments, student performance in standardized examinations, and examples of student work and student achievements are useful indications of teaching effectiveness, especially as they promote the learning goals of General Education or of the major program.

For additional details on appropriate evidence, see the instructions to faculty for applying for contract renewal, promotion, and tenure on the Personnel Policies and Procedures webpage.

Asking senior faculty, in particular those whose teaching expertise is widely recognized, to sit in on classes can be an excellent way of discovering ways to improve one’s teaching, and reports on these visits can also be used to document teaching style and effectiveness in the classroom.

See also the Teaching Effectiveness and Teaching Excellence section of the Course Management section of this handbook for more information.

Reviewed June 2013 by AKS.