Evaluating professors has become a common practice among Lasallians every term. In the middle of each term, Lasallians are notified by the Institutional Testing and Evaluation Office (ITEO) of the need to accomplish an online assessment of their professors’ performance in their My.LaSalle accounts.
In case students have not accomplished the assessment by the stipulated deadline, they will be blocked at all entrances of the University after scanning their ID cards. In some instances, students are asked to accomplish the evaluation on the spot, with computers set up at entrances just for this endeavor.
Most students accomplish the faculty evaluation out of mere compliance. Their IDs have to be blocked first before they finish the evaluations assigned to them. The accuracy of their ratings also becomes an issue, again because Lasallians hastily answer the evaluation just to get it over with. They rarely consider that the results of the faculty evaluation plays an important role in their professor’s performance appraisal.
ITEO Director Dr. Violeta Valladolid shares that the two utmost processes involved in the faculty evaluation are the identification of faculty members whom students will rate, and the actual data gathering and processing.
The process of identifying faculty members includes the request for departmental plantilla, drawing up of proposed list of faculty for evaluation, taking into consideration the evaluation policies and guidelines, and the submission of proposed list of faculty for evaluation to the deans for review and approval.
On the other hand, the following steps are done for data gathering and processing: uploading the list of faculty and their classes in the online evaluation facility, informing faculty about their evaluation schedule, actual student online evaluation, and processing of evaluation data by faculty, department, college, and the University.
Valladolid says that the questionnaire used by ITEO underwent the different stages of test development, which includes conceptualization of what the characteristics and behavior of effective teachers are, item analysis, reliability, and validity.
She adds, “There were different methods employed to ascertain the reliability and validity of the evaluation forms.” She also reveals that the questionnaire is modified for particular classes. ”We have specific evaluation form for lecture, laboratory, Filipino-taught, undergraduate, graduate, PE, hybrid, and SOCTEC classes.” Valladolid states that the evaluation instruments are being periodically reviewed and revised for a more accurate measurement.
Once ITEO is done processing the faculty evaluations from students, professors, and their respective departments then receive them at the end of the term.
Subjectivity defeats objectivity
Since Lasallians are required to answer the evaluation during the middle of each term, there have been numerous inquiries whether students accurately rate their professors. A professor who wished to remain anonymous questions the students’ responses in the evaluation. He explains, “There are a lot of personal (feelings) involved when students accomplish the evaluation and sometimes it’s an opportunity for them to get back at their professors. It’s a very subjective measure to evaluate a professor because sometimes, students have different standards on how they compare one professor’s performance from another.”
Mathematics Department Chair Dr. Arturo Pacificador Jr. shares the same sentiment. Pacificador points out that the evaluation of the student may be affected by what that person was feeling when he or she was rating his or her professor. What the student was feeling at the point in time that he or she chose to accomplish the evaluation could be different from the student’s general perception of his or her professor. Pacificador shares, “If the student got a low score in an exam, chances are the student will give his or her professor a low rating.”
AJ Aggabao (III, ECE) admits that he does not take the faculty evaluation seriously out of fear that professor he would rate may get back at his or her students in the future. “Even though the evaluation results will be given to the professors only by the end of the term, I can still get that professor in my other subjects.”
Department of English and Applied Linguistics (DEAL) Officer-in-Charge Chair Dr. Eden Flores personally believes that professors are not being accurately evaluated. “Generally, students give high evaluations to teachers who give them an easy life inside the classroom,” says Flores. She furthers that students are highly critical of professors who demand so much work and look at the evaluation as a way of getting even.
Faculty Association President Dante Leoncini shares that ITEO’s evaluation is a valid and reliable way to assess professors. However, he also questions whether students take it seriously. Leoncini furthers, “That should be the first problem because the students are the best people to tell if a professor is performing well or not, so I think this issue should be given due importance by students.”
Valladolid responds to the mentioned faculty apprehensions by stating that the best professors consistently receive the best scores and feedback. “Good teachers are consistently evaluated as good, regardless of the type or level of courses that they handle. Furthermore, the numerical ratings that faculty receive are mostly validated or corroborated by the comments or feedback given,” the ITEO head asserts.
To be taken seriously
Valladolid stress that students are advised to take the faculty evaluation with maximum seriousness. “It is clearly specified in the instructions to the student raters the importance of the evaluation in providing teacher/s important feedback concerning their teaching performance as well as in maintaining the quality instruction in the University.”
Gabriel Geronimo (III, AE-MGT) realizes the importance of fairly evaluating their professors. Geronimo takes the evaluation seriously, since it’s a way for the University’s administration to have an overview of how professors conduct their classes. Jay Austria (III, ECM-MGT) shares that the results of the evaluation could be a way for faculty members to improve their craft.
“Not taking the faculty evaluation seriously is tantamount to not caring about the things going on around you [Lasallians], which is one way of slowing down progress in this country. If we want this country to progress, we all have to do our own part, even if it’s just the little things like the ITEO Faculty Evaluation,” Austria concludes.
Moreover, Rafael Yap (I, ADV) believes that the faculty evaluation is relevant. “The evaluation is one way for professors to receive actual feedback and comments from their students. Angela Arugay (I, BSA) sees the feedback process as an opportunity for professors to further improve their performance.
Leoncini feels that more can be done to emphasize the importance of the faculty evaluation to Lasallians. He wishes to see more information campaigns from the University Student Government, and the student publications The LaSallian and Ang Pahayagang Plaridel. “Let the students be aware that they deserve the best education, therefore, they should take the evaluation rituals seriously so that the institution can evaluate professors on the basis of evaluation marks that are supposed to be taken seriously by students,” Leoncini recommends.