The Public Course Evaluations, How effectively is it done?

How it should be implemented and its effectiveness By Doo-Ri Leel승인2011.10.04l309호 2면

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According to 'OECD social-policy assignment' of the field of teaching showed that college tuition of Korea was the third highest among the OECD members announced last June 20th. Indeed, has DKU been offering a great quality of education worth the tuition to dankookians? Now, the school conducted course evaluations about professors and lecturers for better lectures. All dankookians are obliged to fill in course evaluations at the end of the semester in Web Information System. If you don't filled in course evaluations, you cannot see your grade. Then how do school use our course evaluation we wrote. Is it just students who do their best for the routine procedure that the school made? I think so. Last year student Council's in Jukjeon campus had a homepage about course evaluations opened to all students, but this homepage is not avaliable this year. Furthermore, many students said that some professors taught in the same way as they did in the last semester even though they didn't have good course evaluations. Perhaps, this is all because course evaluations are not well publicized to students but this is alarming.

In case of major classes, some students face a situation where they have to take classes taught by the professors they were dissatisfied with last semester. Those students expect a better quality lecture this time but at the same time fear that they have to go through the same dissatisfying experience as they did last time. DKH interviewed a student in school at Department of Exercise Prescription in College of Sports Science in Cheonan campus, he cannot figure our the real meaning of course evaluations. He said "This professor who has had lot of complaints from students always teaches the same thing every semester. This lecture is a field of rehabilitation, but teaching is not properly done. He only asks students to read the text book written in English in class. The problem is he most of the time leaves the classroom so students are just left in class with their textbooks just trying to interpret what is written and reading. The problem does not end here. He often gives out easy As to most of the students regardless of students' class attendance and performances; however, gives the worst grades to those he does not prefer." Also, in general education classes, there are professors who receive a number of complaints every semester. A student in school at Department of Molecular Biology in College of Natural Science in Jukjeon campus said "I took a general education class related to science techniques. It was very boring. During the class, many students including myself were dozing but professor didn't care a bit. Though the class was distracted by students who were slumbering and too noisy, the professor didn't do anything to discipline them. She added "I heard that the professor's way of running his class has not changed though it is obvious that he must have had lots of complaint through evaluations. No matter how sincerely students were involved in course evaluations, if it changes nothing, it's completely meaningless." Although it is those two professors who never made an effort to review their lectures and try to improve, if the school had publicized the results of course evaluations, it might have been a driving force for the previously mentioned professors to pursue some changes. So, DKH interviewed Jae-Sik Jin manager in Academic Affairs about our school's course evaluations planning and the public course evaluation's direction of progress.

DKH : The results of course evaluations is only opened for the public for a few days. Why can't students have access to the results of course evaluations during the semester?

Academic Affairs : Our university started the public course evaluations from the second semester, last year. The course evaluations have been implemented every year until now. But we had opened the results of course evaluations from last year. So now we are undergoing trial and error. In this semester, we opened the results of course evaluations for ten days before and after the second enrollment period of this semester. Because we think that students will wonder about the public course evaluations when they register for a course. Also if we always open the results, there is a problem of information system security. Due to this problem, we have decided to open the results for about 20 days only. If the students really want to have access to them all year long and the system matures, we have a plan to open the results of course evaluations anytime.

DKH : How are the course evaluations reflected? And what actions school take to professors and lecturers who got low grades?

Academic Affairs : Now the course evaluations score is ranged from 0.0 to 5.0 also students can write comments in the course evaluations. And professors and lecturers have to get a grade more than 3.0. If they receive less than 3.0, they will be disadvantaged accordingly. Professors will exceptionally get penalties from verbal warning to a disadvantage for promotions. Lecturers who got less than 3.0 score even once can't teach in Dankook University from next semester in both campus. We can't weed out professors who got low grades like a lecturer. Averagely about 4~6 lecturers are dismissed from our university every semester.

DKH : Why are students' comments on professors and classes kept in private? can't they be opened with the scores?

Academic Affairs : Some students wrote a personal attack. So we are cautious about opening the comment. But by advancing the course evaluations system, we will open the summary of students' comments.

From this interview with manager of academic affairs, we feel that the public course evaluations need a long time to settle down. Opening the result is a sensitive matter to professors and lecturers. It is the same situation as an individual student's grade being opened to other students. But students have right to receive good lectures and it is professors and lecturers' duty to provide the best quality education possible. Therefore, the public course evaluations must advance more efficiently than now. The school says that they will notify students about the public course evaluation using pop-ups. Also they will rank professors by score and open the result from the lowest rank to the highest. Soon the school will reflect student's opinions. Therefore, students also have to concern about the public course evaluations. If we don't have interest in school affairs, we can't get ours right.


By Doo-Ri Lee  dkherald@gmail.com
<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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