In the next few weeks you will be asked to complete student course evaluations.  Perhaps you wonder what the point is and what happens to them.

First, course evaluations are tabulated by the university, and faculty receive the results long after they have submitted the grades at the end of the semester, so there is no effect on your grade by completing them honestly.

Second, the university keeps an eye on the numerical tabulations for faculty.  No one believes these numbers tell the full story, but they tell at least part of it.  You are encouraged to add written comments on the back of the evaluation sheet and these are returned to the CEIE Dept first, and then to the instructor.  This gives you a chance to say way more than the numerical scores.

First or second time instructors are especially open to constructive comments, for example "more homework before tests would be helpful", or "posting homework solutions on line would be helpful" or "the course used too much powerpoint" or "the guest lecturers, especially the one from ABC, were excellent complements to the course", or "the field trips demonstrated concepts that I had not understood fully in class", or "the professor was really well-organized for every class and it showed".  This will benefit students who follow you, and you can benefit from students ahead of you.

And I read the course evaluations, too, so your comments alert me to problems that needs to be addressed, or tell me that we've made a good choice of faculty.

So help us out, and help yourself at the same time.




Deborah J. Goodings, PhD, P.Eng, D. GE, F.ASCE

Dewberry Professor of Civil Engineering

Department Chair
Dept. of Civil, Environmental & Infrastructure Engineering
Volgenau School of Engineering

Nguyen Engineering Building, Suite 1300
George Mason University  MSN-6C1, Fairfax, VA 22030

Tel +1-703-993-1675;  Fax +1-703-993-9790;  [log in to unmask]