BGSU studies tweaking course evaluations

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

The way Bowling Green State University students evaluate their courses is getting a makeover.

At Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting, the Senate Chair Rachelle Kristof Hippler reported on the work of the group that is studying a proposal to have a uniform set of questions across the university.

Now those can vary by department. Hippler said that the proposal was not to make the entire evaluation form uniform, but just to make sure a standard set of questions was on all evaluations. Questions specific to the department will still be included.

The group that studied the issue looked at more than 60 different course evaluation instruments. From those, Hippler said, they pulled 45 possible questions.

Julie Matuga, Associate Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, who was part of the group, said that a survey will be circulated to faculty from Oct. 17 through Oct. 28 to determine which of those would be most useful. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. An open session will be held on Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. to discuss the results of the survey.

The new evaluation will be reviewed and finalized in time for it to be used in a few courses at the end of this semester. It will be further refined after that pilot administration with another pilot program planned for the end of the spring semester.

In his remarks to the senate, Provost Rodney Rogers said that BGSU and universities are preparing to make their case to the legislature about the importance of public higher education. Public higher education, he said, is “incredibly cost effective.”

Schools must continue to strike a balance between low tuition and high quality instruction.

Rogers noted “there seems to be a lot of discussion about textbook costs.”

He said he expects more talk about how universities can manage that expense.

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