End of course evaluations draw criticism

FAMU students question the purpose of end of course assessment survey as time to complete the form is winding down.
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At the end of each term, students and faculty take time to reflect on the semester that is coming to a close.

While Florida A&M University collects course evaluations, many students do not see the purpose in participating.

While these assessments allow students to share their perspective on how the class can be improved, students complain that the critiques fall on deaf ears as the administrators do not implement changes.

FAMU graduate Antwon Blackmon believes that students do not feel the need to complete student surveys because they don’t see them as important.

“Students don’t think the end of the course surveys matter. We have teachers that have had trash reviews from students for years, yet they are still here,” Blackmon said.

Fall course evaluation surveys for the FAMU Student Assessment of Instruction (FAMSAI) were made available on Nov. 22. Students are given approximately three weeks to complete the surveys.

Florida A&M student Austin Glenn’s completion of the evaluation form varies from semester to semester due to the fact that evaluations aren’t always promoted in class.

“They definitely push them a lot in my first semester,” Glenn said. “I feel like the forms need to be done because criticism is always important. We need to let teachers know how they are doing.”

The result of the evaluations are not available for students to view, which has led several groups of students to question the effectiveness of leaving student reviews.

A few students have even suggested making reviews public for students to access prior to course selection. The process would be similar to that of the Rate My Professor website, except the comments would be from verified students.

However, other students say that this would give students a platform to be disrespectful to the professor. Arguing that the comments would be similar in nature to those on Rate My Professor, which are often considered “personal attacks” on character.

According to the FAMU Test Service Bureau website the evaluations become available for teachers to view 3 to 4 weeks after the semester ends.

Comments made on the survey may be brought up during annual performance evaluations and tenure appraisal.

Getting students to complete end of course evaluation forms is not just a problem that faces Florida A&M, as other schools in Florida have similar struggles.

University of West Florida made its end of course evaluations a requirement. According to the institution’s website, failure to submit end of course evaluation will result in a hold on final grades and official transcripts until completion.

Students have until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 5 to complete the evaluations, which are available on blackboard and can also be accessed through student email.