Why course evaluations are more crucial thank you think

Aliyah Rodriguez, Staff Writer

If you’re a veteran of Iona College, you may be aware that the flood of emails regarding course evaluations will be arriving shortly. For newcomers to the campus—and those of you who aren’t as familiar–course evaluations are a series of surveys in which you get to evaluate your classroom experiences for the semester.

Course evaluations are often sent by the Dean of Arts & Sciences and Dean of Business, depending of which program you are enrolled in. Course evaluations feature questions that allow students to rate their classroom experiences based on whether or not they agree or disagree with certain statements. Additionally, students are able to provide more extensive feedback through open-ended questions in the survey.

Dr. Zeynep Altinay, assistant professor of media and strategic communications, shared that course evaluations are very important but also provided a critique in how they are administered.

“It is a good system but it could be better,” Altinay said. “Not enough students participate because it is online, which results in inaccurate measurements of professors’ teachings. I believe in-class, supervised distribution of a hard copy of the course evaluations would provide better data because more students would participate.”

While it may seem like a tedious thing to do, course evaluations create a dialogue between students and faculty in regards to teaching and learning and fostering a better environment for the Iona College community.

It may help to know that professors often adjust their curriculums each time they teach it, and your responses on your course evaluations survey could be the difference between your not-so-great classroom experiences and another student’s great classroom experiences.

Junior Marissa Stone shared her experiences with course evaluations in the past.

“You know, I thought they didn’t really do anything, but then I had a professor who printed out the evaluations from a previous semester and read them to us,” Stone said. “It made me realize that they actually do see them. The school should probably put more emphasis to the students that the professors see this and that they work on how they teach their subjects and that our feedback provides valuable information for them to do that.”

If you enjoy a class that you’re in, fill out your course evaluations survey to let your professor know that they’re doing a great job. If the class has been difficult or you feel as though you haven’t gotten the most out of the experience, fill out the survey to let your professor know what they can do better next time. When course evaluations emails start arriving in your inbox, remember that your opinions matter and can make a difference in another student’s semester.