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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA should implement biweekly evaluations to help student, professors

    At the end of every semester, students have the pleasure of filling out teacher-course evaluations. Imagine if you were asked to do it on a biweekly basis.

    One professor at Boston University, Muhammad Zaman, has his students fill out an anonymous evaluation every other Monday, according to The New York Times. The form asks students to privately rate his teaching skills and the course overall so that he can take the feedback and restructure his teaching and material to better convey the information to his students of what they need to learn.

    UA professors should start following Zaman’s model by administering frequent evaluations to their students.

    Evaluating and helping students shouldn’t be a once-a-semester event, it should be constant throughout the semester. That way, students can be upfront with the protection of anonymity and say what they think needs to change in order for them and their classmates to do really well in their courses.

    The UA’s current system of evaluations is more beneficial to students who will take the course the following semester, and it fails to help the students who are filling out the evaulations. A biweekly evaluation would allow students to reach out to their professors throughout the course about what could be helpful and enable them to understand the course material better.

    Having the evaluations every other week can eliminate issues by allowing students to make comments or ask for clarification on certain material that was covered since the last evaluation without having to identify themselves.

    Although it may be time-consuming and might seem like a waste for some students, filling out a biweekly evaluation of what worked or did not work based on what the professor recently taught is a smart idea.

    Students would benefit from a professor who actually cared about how well students follow the material they need to learn, especially if it’s a class that is a requirement for their major.

    Just like how all students know which general education classes are easy A’s, students also know which classes have certain professors who are too difficult or who never explain the material well. More frequent evaluations would encourage professors to re-examine their teaching methods.

    Professors are hired to teach and students pay to learn. But sometimes professors get stuck going through the motions, regardless of whether their students actually learn. It’s not fair to students.

    Instead, students should be allowed to raise concerns without any fear and professors should be encouraged to change their teaching approach in order to help their students. It might seem like extra work to professors, but they should want to improve and they should welcome student feedback.

    — Serena Valdez is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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