Feedback sought on Brock Teaching Evaluation Policy

Members of the Brock community are encouraged to provide feedback that may change the way students and instructors reflect on courses they have taken part in.

After several months of work preparing a draft Teaching Evaluation Policy, the University Senate’s ad hoc Committee on Teaching Evaluation is seeking input on the document from students, faculty, sessional instructors and teaching assistants who are invited to suggest changes before Senate formally considers a final policy at an upcoming meeting.

With no current Teaching Evaluation Policy, the University has sought to create a form of evaluation that focuses less on the instructor and more on the student experience.

“There is research that shows teaching evaluations can be biased in terms of gender, cultural background, class size and other factors,” said committee chair and Department of Educational Studies Professor David Hutchison. “By reframing teaching evaluations as student course experience surveys, we hope to put the focus on the student’s overall experience within the course, rather than on directly evaluating the instructor.”

To potentially avoid biases while also honouring the Collective Agreement between Brock University and the Brock University Faculty Association, Hutchison and the rest of the committee have proposed an opt-in online student course experience survey system for academic programs that includes University-wide global questions, such as what aspects of a course students found most engaging, and provides space for specific questions from the program and the course instructor.

With the online feedback form closing Wednesday, March 27, Hutchison hopes that many members of the Brock community will take the time to read the available draft teaching evaluation policy and offer feedback that will help shape the final policy.

“There is a unique opportunity for students, faculty, instructors and teaching assistants to contribute their thoughts to the development of a teaching policy for the University,” he said.

To provide feedback on Brock’s Teaching Evaluation Policy draft, visit the University Secretariat website.

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