How student evaluations work

What happens with the student evaluations.



Shelly Beraza


Students at Pierce College are handed instructor evaluation forms at the end of each quarter that are filled out, turned in and forgotten by most students until the next quarter; many extra steps happen afterwards with the evaluations.

All evaluations are prepared following the criteria of the Accreditation Standards/Reporting.

Once the evaluation forms are ready, usually three weeks prior to the end of the quarter, the professor will choose when to ask a student to pick up the packet in the division area. That student then administers the test after the professor leaves the room.

Most students are familiar with this process, but what follows is a crucial part.

An office assistant in the college’s division area scans all the written comments for processing while University of Washington officials take care of processing the Scantron forms, which include scanning and compiling all of the answers into a readable form.

According to Matthew Campbell, vice president for learning and student success, the evaluations are used for a variety of purposes including the tenure process, development and advancement opportunities.

“Further, Pierce College faculty, staff and students all value the input of students as we continue to consider and develop course outcomes, curricula and modes of instruction.” Campbell said.

The evaluations are just one process that helps with decisions, developments or alternations made, Campbell said.

They are a contribution to all of Pierce College’s student success.

The way in which students written responses are recorded was changed last winter quarter. The handwritten answers are now scanned rather than typed, but the responses still remains completely anonymous. The scanned copies are not given to teachers until after grades have been posted, usually two to three weeks after the end of the quarter, so students can feel free to write freely and give honest opinions without repercussions.

Evaluations help the greater good and help college officials better understand the learning process from a student’s point of view.

“Student evaluations—a representation of the students’ voice—are an important part of the learning process for all stakeholders,” Campbell said. “As with any policy or practice, evaluation from multiple perspectives helps us to build our understanding and to develop in positive ways. It is one piece of a much larger puzzle, but it is a very important piece.”


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How student evaluations work

by admin time to read: 2 min