New Questions for the Teacher and Course Evaluations (TCEs) for the University of Kentucky

At the University Senate meeting on March 9, 2015, the Faculty of the University of Kentucky approved the recommendations of the ad hoc Committee on Teacher-Course Evaluations. The members of the committee were:

  • Dr. Kelly Bradley (Department of Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation, College of Education)
  • Dr. Ben Braun (Department of Mathematics, College of Arts & Sciences)
  • Dr. Alan Brown (Department of Hispanic Studies, College of Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Beth Ettensohn (School of Art & Visual Studies, College of Fine Arts)
  • Dr. David Fardo (Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health)
  • Dr. Jonathan Golding (Department of Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences), Chair
  • Dr. Peter Mirabito (Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Tara Rose (Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Director of Assessment)
  • Dr. Roger P. Sugarman (Office of Analytics and Technologies, Director of Institutional Research)

The committee had found that there was a lack of university-wide support for the current Teacher and Course Evaluation (TCE) form. The last time the Senate had reviewed the TCE form was in the early 1990s. Since then many colleges and departments/programs had used their own evaluation measures. The Senate’s ad hoc committee began meeting during the spring of 2014. They had been charged to review and propose a revised evaluation form that would include 18 items evaluating course content (to be approved by Senate) and instructor performance (to be approved by the Provost). In addition, the committee would assess college-specific practices and assure that the form would be universally accepted and/or offers the opportunity for units to customize their own evaluation form more in keeping with their unit’s assessment needs. This model, according to the report,

“allows UK to  have a common instrument that addresses issues related to students’ perceptions of the quality of the course and corresponding instruction. In addition, it ensures that all units and faculty members can assess the quality of the pedagogy within their discipline.” (2)

The committee put forward to the Senate that the new TCE form would include three levels of questions:

  1. limited number of common rating and open-ended questions that can be answered by students in all units;
  2. additional specific questions developed and asked by each unit; and,
  3. additional specific questions developed and asked by individual faculty members.

The committee’s recommended common questions for the new TCEs read as follows (from the report’s Appendix A):

Appendix A of the Ad Hoc Committee ReportIn regards to the reporting out of TCEs, the committee recommended that the new TCE form should include the total enrolled in a course being evaluated. In addition, the report will include the response count, median score, mean score, and bar graphs showing the distribution of ratings across the 5-point scale of the answers.

The University Senate agreed to:

  1. accept the Committee’s report from November 2014 – download the full Report of the UK Senate Teaching Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee (November 2014) here;
  2. endorse the mandate that the questions put forward by the Committee will be the common questions that all programs will use on their Teacher-Course Evaluations (with exceptions made for courses with certain characteristics); and,
  3. the use of the new common questions be made effective as soon as practically possible.

For more information about the new TCEs, contact Dr. Roger Sugarman, Director of Institutional Research in the Office of UK Analytics & Technologies; or Ms. Tara Rose, Director of Assessment in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

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About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
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