General Information on Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness

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The University requires all faculty to evaluate their classes. Most schools/colleges use an end-of-course student evaluation form (student rating form), however, no standard Syracuse University form exists.

What are student ratings?

  • Student ratings provide an opportunity for you to gather information on students’ perceptions of your teaching effectiveness.
  • The student rating forms generally consist of forced-choice questions, open-ended inquiries, or a combination of these.

How are student ratings used?

  • The information provided by student ratings is used for purposes of improving teaching practices, and ultimately student learning. The feedback is also often considered in making personnel decisions.
  • Additional information is included in the publication entitled, What’s the Use of Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness?

How do I obtain or develop a student rating form?

  • Contact your department chair or dean to determine if there is a required student rating form used by your department or school/college. If there is, obtain a copy of the form early in the semester, so you are aware of the teaching components your students will be assessing.
  • Generally, an individual within your school/college is responsible for distributing the forms to the faculty a few weeks prior to the end of the semester. Check with your department chair or dean for specific information related to your school/college.
  • If you are developing your own student rating form, additional information is included in the publication entitled, Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness:

Besides the end of the semester, are there other times that I should collect student feedback?

  • You may collect student feedback throughout the course – after the first few weeks, following a major project or activity, at midsemester, and at the end of the course. Collecting data at multiple times throughout the semester enhances your teaching and your students’ learning, as well as maintains communication between you and your students.

What type of feedback do I receive from student ratings?

  • Depending on the policy of your department or school/college, the statistical data provided for each question on the form generally include mean score, standard deviation, and frequency of each response. Additionally, student responses to open-ended questions will be provided.
  • For comparison purposes, you may also receive departmental or school/college mean scores for several questions on the form.

What should I do with student feedback?

  • Student feedback can be used to identify your teaching strengths and weaknesses, as perceived by your students. Analyzing the information objectively can provide valuable insight into your teaching and be used to make positive changes in your course or teaching practices.
  • Additional information is included in the publication entitled, Interpreting and Using Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness.
  • Student ratings should be included in your teaching portfolio as one component of documenting your teaching.

More Information

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact the Office by email or by phone at 443-8700.