Course Evaluations and Adjunct Teaching: #AdjunctChat

I’m guest hosting #AdjunctChat again this week (3/18)! Join in on Tuesday at 4pmET.

End-of-term student evaluations are a common way to ask students for feedback at the course level. The format has changed, at many colleges and universities, from paper and pencil questionnaires to online forms.

As an online adjunct instructor at two universities, I’ve had trouble accessing evaluation results in the past. It can take a long time for the completed forms to be tabulated and distributed to the instructor, and there is often a low response rate. But recently, and quite coincidentally, I received notification from each of my institutions letting me know about new systems that allow me to log in and retrieve all of my past evaluations.

Having access to the information is just the start. Now to figure out how the feedback can be put to practical use. From course revision to future job applications, there are many possibilities. For this week’s #AdjunctChat, we’ll use the following questions to guide the discussion:

  • What role do student evaluations play in your adjunct teaching?
  • When, how do you receive formal feedback from your students?
  • Do you have any specific examples of how these evaluations have been a benefit to you?
  • Do you conduct your own course evaluations?
  • What are your suggestions for improving the process for adjunct instructors?

Related resources:

How Do Course Evaluations Affect Adjunct Teaching?

Developing and Evaluating Adjunct Faculty

Explore Alternatives for Online Course Evaluation

What would you like to cover during this chat? Please add your ideas and questions to the comments area below, and plan to join us on Tuesday, March 18th at 4pmET! All are welcome.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who participated in this conversation! If you missed the session, the AdjunctChat site will post a transcript and a Storify version is linked below.

2 thoughts on “Course Evaluations and Adjunct Teaching: #AdjunctChat

  1. mstexta

    I’m wondering what is presented to staff and students as the purpose of the evaluations if you were not able to access the feedback. Who and what was the information gathered used for if you were denied access? Also, in your experience is it an expectation that when applying for positions and promotion that you include student feedback? It has become so in many Australian universities.


    1. Melissa A. Venable Post author

      I’m not sure I was being denied access to course evaluations. I think the situation had more to do with the administrative process of making the feedback available to instructors – slow and sometimes complicated. At one point I was provided a link, but didn’t have the necessary credentials to log in and view. My access is definitely improving, but this may not be the case for other instructors at other institutions. I’ve never been asked to provide student evaluations for an adjunct application, but they have been part of the application packet when I’ve applied for full-time positions.

      You also mention “what is presented to staff and students as the purpose of evaluations?” which is a great question. I haven’t really taken the time to see what is presented from the student perspective when they follow the link provided for them to submit their feedback at the end of a course. It’s something I should do, and I may want to add a message to them about what their feedback will mean from my perspective.



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