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Editorial

Professor surveys still important despite changed method of access

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December 13, 2015

If you had the power to mould your classes into a new form — one that would not only help you to get more out of the experience, but also to enjoy yourself more too — wouldn’t you exercise it?

At the end of every semester, students are able to fill out surveys to evaluate their professors. The responses to these surveys serve as a valuable means of understanding the impact professors have on their students. Thus, we see it as a harmful step that, as of the past few semesters, these evaluations have, for whatever reason, been made available online rather than being physically handed out during class. It may seem like a minor change, but the effects it engenders are highly significant.

A contributing factor in professor tenure and overall success at UW-River Falls, these online forms certainly result in less participation in filling them out compared to the original method. This results in less accurate data to affect a professor’s future. Not only are professors losing out on valuable input, students must — rather than filling out the form during class time with a very high response rate — be subjected to repeated emails on behalf of each class’ professors which surely are more of a hassle than the paper counterpart.

The highest goal of any good university ought to be education, and the quality of that speaks worlds about the institution. No professor can say how good their class was as well as his or her students. Further, the most important tool — in improving the quality of our professors and in sorting out what works and what doesn’t in our educational environment — is these evaluations.

Consider your classload from this past semester. Look at its ups and downs and explain them in the evaluation. Did you like this professor’s methods? Did you hate that one’s? Express yourself! If you want to see change that will positively affect yourself along with your fellow students, you should make yourself heard.

Without our professors, we would obviously have no UWRF to go to. While that might seem like a good thing to some, we should all be able to acknowledge that much of our education here will stay with us for life and will likely be ciritical to our futures in the job market, or pursuing our varied interests. Thus, we hope that, in the long term, UWRF will change the method of evaluation back to its original glory and that, for now, students will take the time to improve their university by filling those online surveys — if anything, just to make the emails stop.