Mid-semester evaluations should exist

Jessie Hellmann

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Toward the end of the semester, students will notice their USI email accounts have been bombarded with requests to fill out end-of-the-semester course evaluations for the classes they were enrolled in that year. 

Many professors actually use this information to gauge how effective their teaching methods are and to find ways to improve and evaluations give students the chance to voice feedback anonymously.

However, at USI, there are no practices for mid-semester evaluations, which are equally as important as end-of-semester ones.

Unless a student contacts the professor directly, the professor will more than likely have no idea that a teaching method isn’t working or if the homework load is just too much.

A mid-semester evaluation would give students the opportunity to voice their concerns while there is still time to adjust what needs to be fixed in the course. Maybe there is a general consensus that thinks tests are too difficult for a 100 level core class or maybe students think the professor is going through too much material in a short time period.

Several institutions like Princeton University, Michigan State and Rutgers rely on the use of mid-semester course evaluations to help professors improve the learning environment including Princeton University, Michigan State and Rutgers.

End-of-semester evaluations help professors take suggestions and try to improve future classroom experiences but taking suggestions to improve the current situation makes more sense.

After all, every year a professor has a different class full of different students with different personalities and backgrounds. It’s not entirely fair for professors to only make changes based on the opinions of previous students.

Giving students the opportunity to tell a professor in an anonymous setting what needs to be improved on in the class would enhance the learning outcomes for the student.

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