Departments use evaluations to help instructors improve classes, methods

Student evaluation forms are not used to have a faculty member fired but to encourage them to improve in the evaluated areas.

The evaluations are broken up into areas of teaching, professional activities and campus services.

Dale Simpson, English and philosophy department head said he can usually tell if a student has the intentions of getting a faculty member fired.

“In this department, we have nine areas that are written responses and from this I can translate what the student is trying to convey,” Simpson said.

Nick Kyle, art department head, said evaluations are important, but they are not the only tools used to evaluate a faculty member.

Simpson said the evaluation process continues with the department head and the dean.

“If there is a reoccurring problem, then we sit down with the faculty member and discuss the results of the evaluation,” Simpson said. “I then give them a time period to correct the problem.”

Simpson said he has had to terminate a teaching position due to the fact the faculty member could not meet the requirements in the time given.

“In all honesty, you have to be really bad to get fired,” he said. “We are really fair when it comes evaluations because they can be unfair and inaccurate.”

Simpson said he thinks the evaluations help because it gives the faculty member a chance to correct what the students see as a problem.

Kyle said when he gives the evaluation he asks students to be fair, honest and accurate because it improves the quality of the evaluation process.

“If the evaluations are poor, they have until the next year to improve and continue teaching,” Kyle said.

Amanda Wyman, sophomore elementary education major, said the evaluations work when the questions are clear.

“Sometimes it is a little difficult to understand what the question wants,” Wyman said.

Kyle said he thinks there should be a mentoring system for new faculty members.

“I think a good professor should be placed with an incoming instructor,” he said. “You don’t have to be a good teacher to be a great orator.”

Dr. Jay Moorman, communication department head, said he thinks student evaluations help.

“I use evaluation forms to make our faculty better,” Moorman said.

He said the evaluations are only part of the communication department’s evaluation process as well.

“The form is only a statistical score, but I look at every single one of them,” he said.

Moorman said faculty members are allowed to read their evaluations as a form of improvement. Faculty members do not view the evaluations until grades have been recorded and turned in for that semester.

Shawna Nelson, sophomore business management major, said she believes the evaluations work.

“I think the evaluations work but sometimes I feel that they fail to do the job,” Nelson said.

She said sometimes she believes the evaluations are ignored but not in all circumstances.

“I have evaluated an instructor and then had the same instructor in a different class, and I can honestly say that I saw a change in the way the class was taught,” she said.

Kyle said an instructor must enjoy the interaction with other students and genuinely enjoy the teaching process.