The Student Government Association resolution requesting the disclosure of student course evaluations to all Northern Kentucky University students will undergo revisions, as the Professional Concerns Committee believes it breaches students’ right to confidentiality.
The resolution proposes a restructure to the current course evaluation form students fill out at the end of each semester, and the disclosure of those evaluations to provide students accurate information about classes.
By allowing students to view course evaluations, students would be able to view all sections of the evaluation form, including the additional feedback section.
“The concern of this resolution is that it goes against students’ right to confidentiality if their comments are published. That’s the issue the PCC and the Faculty Senate are trying to work out,” Jacqueline McNally, public relations professor and faculty senator, said.
Other universities, like Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania, disclose course evaluations to their students. SGA believes that if NKU were to disclose course evaluations, students would be less inclined to use ratemyprofessor.com and other unreliable sources.
“A lot of students use ratemyprofessor.com as a way to find information about classes and professors, however anyone can post whatever they want. This resolution is designed to offer students accurate information by allowing them to see the student course evaluations that have been submitted,” Erik Pederson, SGA president, said.
Megan Murray, junior communication major, has experienced the unreliability of ratemyprofessor.com.
“I’ve used the site a couple of times and for the most part, the comments made about professors were completely irrelevant to the class. Students were basically using the site to whine, not give useful information to other students,” Murray said.
SGA’s restructure of the course evaluations would provide information to students about class organization, professor’s ability to effectively communicate, whether or not students felt prepared for the course, usefulness of class reading assignments and the number of hours students devoted to the course per week.
“The current evaluation form offers students a comments section and because of that students are allowed to submit very inappropriate things. With this resolution, SGA would be collaborating with the PCC to design an evaluation that won’t allow students to do so, increasing the credibility of the evaluations,” Pederson said.
After reviewing the resolution, the PCC has decided that they would like to further discuss the resolution and potentially establish a team of faculty and students to work out the logistics, Pederson said.