Foster an Environment for Growth


Gerald Maib for The Easterner

By The Easterner Editorial Board

At the end of every class you’re handed a form that asks a few simple questions. You leave some anonymous response, praising your teacher’s competence and criticizing their shortcomings, and once that form leaves your hands, that’s the end of it. No follow-up, no noticeable change, no growth students can see.

When signing up for classes, especially classes outside of your department, it can be difficult to know which teachers are the most effective or have a teaching style that fits your needs.

Many students turn to their friends for advice or to third party sites, such as, to find out which class section would be best for them. But what happens when these sources are unreliable or have incomplete information? And why are we turning to third parties when the university is sitting on a growing pile of information that students could benefit from?

The current system of anonymous feedback is just too distanced for students to actually feel like their praises are being communicated to professors, and that their criticisms are being used to make potentially needed changes to classes. Many students don’t even take the evaluation seriously because they don’t think it means anything.

A system where the department curates professor evaluations into meaningful and useful reports by which students can select their classes in a more informed way would be extremely beneficial to student learning.

This would need to be implemented carefully of course, as we wouldn’t want professors to turn their classes into a race for ratings, worried about nothing but their evaluations. But opening up communication between students and teachers could lead to meaningful change that students will be able to see and be a part of.

So, we ask EWU to open up communication and be transparent about the performance of its professors. That way we can sing the praises of the best teachers and grow together with those who need improvement.