OCUFA Report on Student Evaluations of Teaching Released

From the Executive Summary:

Prompted by a rise in complaints about the misuse and inappropriate interpretation of questionnaire scores and reports of harassment, OCUFA established a working group to examine the use of student questionnaires at Ontario universities. Members included experts in the fields of methodology, research ethics, and human rights.

After examining student questionnaires along those three dimensions, the working group concludes that SQCTs are a useful mechanism to gather student feedback for “formative” purposes to inform the understanding of the teaching and learning experience, but they are counterproductive, even harmful, when used for “summative” purposes to evaluate the performance of faculty.

Using SQCTs for performance evaluation penalizes women, racialized and LGBTQ2S+ faculty, and faculty with disabilities. These faculty are also more likely to be the target of harassment in the anonymous comments sections of the questionnaires. Further, using SQCTs for performance evaluation risks undermining effective teaching and intellectual diversity.

See the full Report here.

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