Student Evaluation of Instructor

The Faculty Development Committee, in accordance with Article V.l.C. (1) of the College of Business Administration Bylaws, is responsible for developing and recommending to the Dean and the College faculty, and evaluating on an ongoing basis, a College-wide program for student course evaluations, including evaluation instruments, policies and procedures.

Policies and procedures contained herein have been developed by the Faculty Development Committee and subsequently approved by the College’s Executive Committee and Faculty Affairs Committee. These policies and procedures are intended to be consistent with relevant policies of the Board of Regents and the University.

Purposes of Student Evaluation of Instructor

Section 803.07 (Evaluation of Faculty) of the Policy Manual of the Board of Regents was amended during the 1983-84 year to include the following language:

Each institution, as part of its evaluative procedures, will utilize a written system of faculty evaluations by students, with the improvement of teaching effectiveness as the main focus of these student evaluations.

This policy statement was not explicit with respect to whether student evaluations of the instructor were part of the criteria for evaluating performance.

In a letter of January 22, 1988, Chancellor Propst clarified this situation with the following statement:

This letter is prompted by a few inquiries to this office concerning the use of written student evaluations as a part of the criteria by which the performance of an individual faculty member is judged. Let me emphasize the desirability as well as the necessity for such a practice in order to comply with Board Policy 803.07. Naturally, it is hoped that such criteria are used to aid in improving teacher effectiveness as well as for evaluation purposes.

The GSU University Senate passed a resolution (in May 1985) to comply with this Board of Regents policy, to be implemented effective Fall Quarter 1986. The College’s initial policies and procedures (and the evaluation instruments and related materials) were developed by the Faculty Development Committee, which was created in May 1985 through faculty approval to revisions to the CBA Bylaws.

Consistent with Board of Regents and University policy, the Faculty Development Committee agrees that the two purposes of student evaluations of instructor are:

  1. Faculty development: to provide information to assist faculty members in improvingtheir teaching effectiveness.
  2. Evaluation: to provide information to assist administrators in measuring the effectivenessof teacher performance.

For further information on the role of student evaluation of instructor for both faculty development and evaluation purposes, see the Faculty Development Committee’s document titled “Faculty Performance: Planning, Development and Evaluation.”

Development and Revisions of Evaluation Instrument and Statistical Reports

Development of evaluation instrument

In accordance with the University Senate resolution of May 1985, the College’s Student Evaluation of Instructor (SEI) form was initially approved by the RCB faculty at its meeting of January 1986, for implementation effective Fall Quarter 1986. In accordance with the University Senate resolution, the initial SEI instrument contained University-wide questions (7), College-wide questions (28), and provision for departmental-specific questions (2), for those academic units desiring such.

Revisions of evaluation instrument

As stated in the RCB Bylaws, the Faculty Development Committee (FDC) is responsible for evaluating on an ongoing basis the evaluation instrument and recommending any revisions over time. If and when the FDC recommends changes to the content of the College’s SEI form, it must be subsequently approved by the Executive Committee and Faculty Affairs Committee for implementation. However, if the Faculty Affairs Committee is of the opinion that the proposed revisions constitute major changes, then the proposed revisions will be submitted to the entire RCB faculty for review and approval.

Development and revisions of statistical reports

The College’s statistical report of data collected from the SEI form in each course is titled the Student Evaluation of Instructor Profile (SEIP). The Faculty Development Committee is responsible for developing and revising the SEIP and the explanation of the SEIP which is provided to instructors.

Administration and Collection of SEI Forms

Frequency of administration

The SEI form is to be administered in all RCB course sections in all quarters.

Note: frequency of administration approved by CBA faculty 11/92.

Time of administration

The SEI form is distributed to students for completion in the classroom during the last week of classes of the quarter.

Distribution of SEI forms and related materials to instructors

Approximately two weeks before the end of each quarter, the Dean’s Office distributes to each academic unit a listing of classes being taught that quarter in which the SEI form is to be administered (see policy on frequency of administration above). Accompanying this listing is a set of course labels and a sufficient number of envelopes and instruction sheets to accommodate the number of course sections shown on the listing and a sufficient number of SEI forms to accommodate the total enrollment shown on the listing.

Staff in the academic unit affix the course labels to the envelopes, insert the proper number of SEI forms (based on enrollment as shown on the label) in each envelope and an instruction sheet. The envelopes and the required quantity of #2 pencils are distributed to the instructor for administration of the form during the last week of classes.

During the last week of classes of the quarter, the instructor takes the envelope containing the materials and a sufficient number of pencils to the class and distributes a copy of the SEI form to each student in attendance.

Classroom administration of SEI form

The instructor designates a student in the class who will collect the completed SEI forms and return them to the envelope. The instructor identifies this student to the rest of the class. The instructor then reads instructions to the class for completing the various parts of the SEI form and indicates that 15 minutes is allocated for completion of the form at which time students are to deliver their completed SEI forms to the student who has been designated to collect and deliver these forms. After giving the instructions, the instructor should leave the room during the evaluation, as required by the University Senate resolution of May 1985.

Evaluations are to be completed anonymously by the students and returned to the designated student who will seal the envelope, sign and date it across the flap, and, before leaving the classroom building, deposit the envelope directly in a University drop box.

Collection of SEI forms

The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for the collection of the envelopes containing the SEI forms from the University drop boxes with subsequent delivery to the College via identification provided on the envelope. In the case of off-campus courses, the College puts the appropriate amount of postage and the mailing address on the envelope prior to its distribution to the class, and the student is requested to put it in a U.S. mail box immediately after its administration.
The SEI forms are delivered (or addressed through the U.S. mail for off-campus course sections) for processing and distribution to personnel designated by the Dean and approved by the Executive Committee, Faculty Affairs Committee, and Faculty Development Committee. Designated personnel are instructed to report any concerns of interference on the part of anyone concerning access to the data directly to the chairman of the Faculty Development Committee and/or the chairman of the Faculty Affairs Committee.

Distribution of SEI Forms and Statistical Summaries to the Academic Unit

After the SEI forms and envelopes are received by the College’s designated personnel, they are prepared for scanning on University optical scanning equipment, which reads the data into a computer file which is used to prepare the statistical summary of the SEI forms called Student Evaluation of Instructor Profile (SEIP).

When the SEIP’s have been prepared, two copies of it and the SEI forms are returned to the academic unit. One copy of the SEIP is to be distributed to the instructor, the original SEI forms are to be retained by the chairman/director of the academic unit and a photocopy of the written comments (if any) on the back of the SEI forms are to be provided to the instructor in a timely manner. The goal of the College is to have both the SEIP’s and any written comments in the hands of the instructor by no later than the second week of classes of the next quarter.

Uses of SEI Data

Faculty development and annual performance evaluation

As stated above, the primary purposes of collecting and processing SEI data are:

Faculty Development

To provide feedback through the timely return of completed SEI forms and SEIPs to individual faculty member for purposes of improving classroom teaching effectiveness.

Performance evaluation

For use by the chairman/director of the academic unit as one input in the evaluation process, recognizing that teaching effectiveness should not be judged by student evaluations alone.

Promotion and tenure materials

In accordance with the University Senate resolution of May 1985, any academic unit may require data from SEI forms as part of promotion and tenure materials, provided that a majority of full-time faculty members within the department approves of such an action. Each academic unit of the College of Business Administration has conducted such a vote. Some academic units have mandated the inclusion of such materials, whereas other academic units have voted for inclusion to be voluntary. In either case, the burden of proof is on the candidate to provide adequate documentation that the level of teaching effectiveness meets promotion criteria (see the College’s promotion and tenure policies and procedures document).

Faculty Hearings Committee

The College’s Faculty Hearings Committee may require SEI data (either the SEI forms and/or the SEIP) concerning hearings of faculty appeals conducted by the committee.

Committee must be concerned with the relevance and reliability of the SEI instrument. The psychometric property of relevance (validity) is defined as to the degree to which the instrument appropriately captures pertinent attributes of teaching effectiveness.

Relvance is analogous to what is often to referred to as validity. Reliability is the psychometric property defined as the degree to which similar results are obtained during different administrations of the SEI instrument. While respecting confidentiality, SEI data which are not identified by instructor are available to the Faculty Development Committee for purposes of conducting research to test the relevance and reliability of the SEI form, to improve the SEI instrument, and to study revision to policies and procedures.

Requests under Georgia Open Records Act

In a letter of January 20, 1988, the Attorney General of the State of Georgia ruled that student evaluations of academic courses are subject to disclosure under the Georgia Open Records Act. Accordingly, through the Office of Vice President for Academic Affairs, SEI data are provided at cost to the Student Government Association at its request. Any other requests for access to the data under the Georgia Open Records Act are to be referred to the University attorney.

Retention of Student Evaluation of Instructor Data by Academic Units

In accordance with a policy developed by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1988, the original SEI forms and SEIP’s (hereafter referred to as SEI materials) are to be retained as follows:

Courses taught by full-time faculty

The SEI materials pertaining to courses taught by full-time faculty will be kept by the head of the academic unit two years beyond the academic term in which the course was offered, but no longer, with the following exceptions:

  1. SEI materials pertaining to courses taught by a non-tenured faculty member shall be retained until the tenure decision is made;
  2. SEI materials pertaining to courses taught by a faculty member making an appeal of decisions rendered regarding teaching performance shall be retained from the time the appeal is filed until all appeals are exhausted or until the appeal is dropped;
  3. SEI materials pertaining to courses taught by a faculty member whose teaching performance is under review by the head of the academic unit in which the faculty member has appointment should be retained as long as the head of the academic unit deems necessary. The head of the academic unit shall inform the faculty member annually in writing in the annual performance evaluation if SEI materials are being retained beyond two years.

Courses taught by other than full-time faculty

The SEI materials pertaining to courses taught by instructors who are not full-time faculty (primarily PTIs and GTAs) will be kept by the head of the academic unit for a minimum of one year beyond the academic term in which the course was offered, except if an appeal is pending which raises questions about the teaching performance of the instructor. In this case, the SEI materials shall be retained until all appeals are exhausted or until the appeal is dropped.

(Approved by the Executive Committee 2/92 and Faculty Affairs Committee 5/92)