Students evaluate teachers

Seth Ickes – Staff Writer

CLARION, Pa.- With the fall 2016 semester coming to a close, final exams are right around the corner, “all-nighters” are being pulled by students, and regular student evaluations of Clarion University faculty continue.

Student evaluations of Clarion University faculty help professors better understand how students can effectively learn, where they can make changes in their teaching style or course material and assess a professor’s effectiveness in the classroom.

A  fellow colleague rather than the professor conducts the evaluations, ensuring that students feel in no way pressured by a faculty member to alter their opinions. Professors do not receive their student evaluations from the previous semester until after final grades are in and the semester is over,  to assure that evaluations have no influence on how faculty grade.

These evaluations have a multiple choice section that rates the professor on an objective scale along with an open-ended portion that allows students to give their own personal input on a professor’s teaching style in a particular course; it allows the student the chance to provide any details they wish.

Dr. Kevan Yenerall, a professor of political science at Clarion, gave a deeper look into the way professors are evaluated. Yenerall stated that there are three foundational categories of student evaluations: teaching, service and scholarship.

Gianna Campalong / The Clarion Call Professors and faculty are evaluated by their students every semester to improve quality.
Gianna Campalong / The Clarion Call
Professors and faculty are evaluated by their students every semester to improve quality.

These foundational categories separate the role of a professor into its core areas and allow the performance in all three to be analyzed individually with the potential for comparison and collective analysis. Beyond student evaluations, faculty members provide peer evaluations of teachers’ classes yearly, and the department chairs and dean provide a yearly evaluation of a professor’s classes as well.

Evaluations of Clarion University faculty  remain an integral part of the learning process and provide a platform for students to provide constructive criticism of classes they take while simultaneously aiding professors in making their teaching style and class structure as effective as possible.

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