Do Course Evaluations Matter?
More than you think! Your course evaluations are not only your opportunity to make your voice heard, but also to provide candid feedback to faculty members seeking to improve their teaching as well as departments intent on improving their curricula. Furthermore, your responses provide critical guidance to your peers hoping to choose their courses and instructors in the future.
In short, your course evaluation feedback represents a significant contribution you can make to the University of Texas during your time as a student. As a member of the campus community, we implore you to seize this opportunity to leave this university greater than when you first enrolled.
While you are always welcome to use these data to help you select courses and instructors best suited for your individual learning style, we ask that you keep in mind that no single number can truly quantify the dedication and tireless efforts made by university faculty. These ratings rarely capture a complete picture of a faculty member’s teaching ability and can sometimes present a distorted perspective (possibly positive or negative) based on student biases, lack of student participation, and user errors. Learn more about CES results.
In the fall semester of 2022, the University transitioned to a new course evaluation system. Because of this, results for evaluations conducted using the new system (i.e. after Fall 2022) are now separate from those collected using the Legacy CIS system, which includes all results collected before Fall 2022:
Tips for Providing Valuable Written Comments
- Your instructor is your primary audience, and your primary goal should be helping them understand which aspects of the course had the greatest impact on your individual learning throughout the term.
- Specific constructive comments, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, are far more useful than general critiques. The most valuable comments are almost always the most specific and provide a unique perspective.
- When in doubt, an assessment of which elements of the course should remain the same, and which elements should change, along with an explanation as to “why,” is always appreciated.
- Comments unrelated to your learning (thoughts on an instructor’s appearance, personal insults, etc.) significantly devalue your response. It is essential, both in preserving your credibility as an unbiased evaluator, and in protecting the excellent reputation of our student body, that you remain civil, professional, and on topic with your comments.