Frequently Asked Questions about Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs)
- Must I administer student evaluations in every section I teach at the Kelley School of Business?
- When should I conduct student evaluations in my class?
- Where do I get the student evaluation forms?
- When will the forms be available for pick-up?
- What is the procedure for conducting student evaluations at the Kelley School of Business?
- When will the data from my student evaluations be ready?
- Who will see the data from my student evaluations?
- How is the information from student evaluations used at the Kelley School of Business?
- What kind of help is available to me in reading, interpreting, and utilizing the information from student evaluations of teaching?
According to official Kelley School of Business policy, last updated April 1999, every class taught at the Kelley School of Business, including summer session classes, must be evaluated by the students: “Without exception, every class section is independently evaluated. Student evaluations are distributed and collected in class by a student who returns the forms to a central administrative office.”
The majority of student evaluations are conducted during the last two weeks of instruction of the course. In some instances administrative units (e.g. I-Core, MBA Program, or SAGP) ask instructors to conduct evaluations at a different time in the semester to suit instructional particulars. If you teach I-Core, courses that span less than the full semester, or graduate students of any kind, you should check with your administrative unit about the timing of course evaluations.
For each section taught at the Kelley School of Business, course evaluations forms are assembled into packets and distributed to the departments to which the faculty member is associated.
Packets will be available in each faculty members’ mailbox shortly before the evaluation period.
- Pick up materials
Instructors should pick up all evaluation materials (i.e., evaluation forms assembled in packets, pencils, and instructions) within a day or two of when the evaluations will be completed. Instructors may pick up the evaluation forms, but only student administrators may return the forms. In other words, once the evaluation forms are handed out, instructors must not handle the forms again until they have been scanned and processed, after final grades have been submitted.
- Select one or two student administrators
Select one student for small and medium-sized classes, two students for large and jumbo classes. Students may administer the evaluations at the beginning of class or at the end. Either way, instructors must not be present while evaluations are being completed. If administered at the beginning of class, instructors should leave the room and wait until a student invites them back to class. If administered at the end of class, the instructor may leave for the day.
- Student administrator(s) submit(s)
Student administrator(s) should return the completed evaluation forms to the secure drop boxes located in the Hall of Honor on the Undergraduate side or in the MBA student lounge on the Graduate side.
7. Who will see the data from my student evaluations?
Access to the data from student evaluations is granted to the faculty member, the department chair, and the deans of the school.
8. How is the information from student evaluations used at the Kelley School of Business?
Data from the student evaluations of teaching are used both formatively and summatively at the Kelley School of Business:
- Chairs and deans review the data from student evaluations to ensure that the School’s reputation of excellence in teaching is held at the highest level.
- Instructors who receive the highest scores typically receive letters of recognition from the dean.
- Instructors who show problematic patters of data are usually recommended to instructional consulting for assistance.
- For lecturers, clinical professors, and other non- or not-yet-tenured instructors, student evaluation data are used as part of the information administrators use to make decisions of tenure, promotion, and retention.
- Student evaluation data are also used by the Teaching Excellence Committee as part of the criteria used to select the various teaching awards granted at the Kelley School of Business.
9. What kind of help is available to me in reading, interpreting, and utilizing the information from student evaluations of teaching?
Although it is certainly possible to interpret one’s SET data alone, the personal involvement each instructor experiences vis-à-vis his or her own teaching usually complicates and obscures such solo interpretations. With the help of a trained professional, student evaluation data can be interpreted so that instructors may make focused improvements to their instruction in the most productive way possible. Hence, it is highly recommend that instructors arrange an appointment with an instructional consultant to interpret the SET data. Once the data have been carefully studied, the consultant will meet with the instructor in a private setting to explain the results and suggest strategies for improvement in the desired areas.