WSU to publish students' teaching evaluations online - The South End: News

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WSU to publish students' teaching evaluations online

Students say SET scores help choose classes

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Posted: Monday, January 12, 2015 7:00 am

Beginning summer 2015, Wayne State students and faculty will have online access to a revised version of the Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) instrument.

SET is an evaluation instrument used by WSU to rate professors through student responses. Students are asked to fill out SET forms at the end of every semester for each class. The publication of SET data was standard practice at Wayne State until the early 2000s, but stopped, due to budget constraints related to printing costs said Margaret Winters, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs.

“It stopped because it was too expensive to print a paper booklet for everyone,” said Winters. “This was before people had access to smart phones or the internet.”

During the fall 2014 semester, the 2N SET Committee worked closely with the Student Senate, Academic Senate Policy Committee, Course Evaluation Office, and senior academic administrators to make changes to the SET process. Their goal is to implement a revised SET form and an institution-wide process for releasing SET data.

"Our goal is to increase student response rates for the SET and make the SET more useful to faculty," said Laura Woodward, director of testing and assessment. 

With help from the university’s Computer & Information Technology department, Woodward thought it would be easier for WSU to manage the SET.  Woodward asked the Student Senate if they would be interested in bringing back the SET instrument to WSU. She said she wanted to see if students would be interested in having access to this resource again.

“As a senate, we want to make SET more effective for students,” said Ashraf Jaber, Student Senate treasurer and head project chair for SET. “It’s our right as students to see teacher ratings.”

Jaber and the Student Senate requested that the SET be placed on the Schedule of Classes’ homepage. The online version of the SET will have 19 questions that will exclude the three questions used to evaluate faculty tenure and promotion. This version will also exclude the student commentary section because Woodward said faculty is not willing to release this information.

Format for the SET page is undecided, but students and faculty with a WSU Access ID will have online access to the SET results. 

"This is really great because now I can know which classes to take without resorting to YikYak," said Undrereon Hall, a freshmen majoring in mortuary science.

The definite release date of the SET instrument has yet to be determined. The first delivery date is rumored to be August 2015 said Winters.

"There is a lot of programming that has to go into this and programming is not quick," said Winters. "I wish we could do this faster, but I don't think we will because there are just too many people that are helping us with this." 

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