Some Frequently Asked Questions
My class is small--only five students. What should I do about evaluations?
Section Five of the Senate Policy on Teaching Evaluation recognizes that there may be special circumstances whereby the standard evaluation form is not ideal--such as a class with a small enrolment. For example, if there are fewer than 10 students in a class, though the standard form still provides useful feedback, it may be difficult to ensure student anonymity.
In these circumstances, you are encouraged to evaluate the course using a method that makes sense to you, your discipline, and departmental norms:
- You may use the standard form but ask students to print their responses to the open-ended questions;
- You may have someone type the written comments before you read them;
- You may choose to use a different form that suits your needs better. Just make sure you keep a copy of the questions for your files so you can document them later.
One of my students was absent on evaluation day--can she complete the form individually afterwards?
Only those students who are actually present on the day you have chosen to conduct your evaluations in class may provide their ratings and written feedback on the form. Quite simply, this ensures the integrity and confidentiality of the process.
When do I get my evaluation report?
Dates have been established for the return of the numerical reports:
Fall term reports will be e-mailed to you on or about January 15 each year.
Winter term reports will be e-mailed on or about May 15 each year.
Spring/summer term reports will be e-mailed on or about July 15 each year. (Please note that the varying formats and durations of spring/summer courses make the dates for these reports less predictable)
You will receive an e-mail with the exact date at least a week before the reports are sent.
Please note that reports are sent individually and in alphabetical order according to the professor's surname. So it is possible that you may have your reports before a colleague receives hers (or vice versa).
The actual Scantron forms, which contain the students' written comments, will be mailed back to the departmental secretary in sealed envelopes. These will be held in safe storage for distribution to individual professors after the numerical reports have been sent.
Why were these dates set?
These dates are a reasonable target which could be met given our resources. The dates also provide dependable and predictable structure to the evaluation process while giving the information to professors in a timely manner. Processing the evaluations takes some time--at a very busy period for Departmental Support Services. Also, to ensure the integrity of the evaluation process, the reports are not sent until several days after the submission deadline for final course grades.
From those who replied to an informal online survey of Canadian educational developers, Mount A is actually rare in having a fixed or target date.
At some universities (e.g., Calgary), Deans/Associate Deans receive the evaluations first and faculty members do not see the quantitative results and get only a summary of the written comments.
The most common schedule for the release of evaluations is “sometime after final grades have been submitted.” The length of time may vary from weeks (in the case of Durham College/UOIT), to any time: “We never know when they will appear to on our desks” (UNB, Brock, and WLU). These respondents were envious of Mount A’s fixed date.
At MUN, evaluations are released as soon as possible after the deadline for students to appeal their grades. They are sent to the professor and his/her department head simultaneously.
At McGill, which has online evaluations, the results are released electronically within days after a professor's final grades have been submitted.
How should I store the report?
Please download your reports and keep both your numerical reports and your completed Scantron sheets in a safe place. The data are not archived centrally and will be deleted within six weeks of distribution.
What should I do if I have more questions?
If the information on the extensive evaluation website does not answer your questions, please contact in the first instance the Director of PCTC .