ASG passes course evaluation reform resolution to include additional questions, grade distributions

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Allie Goulding/Daily Senior Staffer

CTECs resolution co-authors Elizabeth Sperti and Campbell Schafer speak at Wednesday’s ASG Senate meeting. The resolution calls for changes to the CTECs system including questions about classroom environment and inclusivity

Thea Showalter, Reporter

Associated Student Government passed a resolution Wednesday outlining new procedures for course evaluations that would increase the course information available to students and add additional questions to increase student feedback about teacher performance and classroom environment.

Groups across campus, including student and teacher organizations like ASG and Faculty Senate, have discussed course evaluations, or CTECs, reform since the end of Fall Quarter, said University Registrar Jacqualyn Casazza and Bennett Goldberg, the assistant provost for learning and teaching.

“It was clear that many groups across campus were interested in revisions and evolution of CTECs questions, data reporting, transparency and guidelines for both student respondents and the CTECs audiences,” the two wrote in an email to The Daily.

Elizabeth Sperti, a Weinberg senator and co-author of the ASG resolution, said many different groups on campus saw the need for CTECs reform. The freshman said the NU administration created the Reimagine CTECs Committee at the end of Fall Quarter that included student and faculty representatives.

“People were feeling like (the CTECs system) wasn’t the best it could necessarily be for professors or for students, in the different ways that they use it,” Sperti said.

Sperti, who serves on the Academics Committee within ASG, said one of the committee’s main initiatives was to figure out what the most important changes to the CTECs system could be, and that the resolution reflected the Academic Committee’s recommendations.

“We’re hoping for questions pertaining to the inclusivity of the classroom and the sort of classroom environment that a professor or TA creates,” Sperti said.

She added that the committee also requested for grade distributions to be provided in the CTECs so students reading through the evaluations can see how grades have been distributed in previous sections.

According to the 2018 ASG Campus-Wide Survey, which is cited in the resolution, over 80 percent of students are in favor of changes to the CTECs system that would allow them to see grade distributions before signing up for a class. Over 50 percent of NU students said they would like CTECs to ask questions about the inclusivity and overall environment of a class.

The resolution also cites other changes, such as including a survey for students who elected to drop a course and a mid-quarter survey to provide professors and TAs with performance feedback from students, Sperti said.

ASG has been working on the resolution since roughly the beginning of February, Sperti added.

According to Goldberg and Casazza, students may see changes to the CTECs system in a few pilot courses as early as next Fall Quarter.

“It’s far too early in the process to imagine what elements will have the greatest impact at this time,” Goldberg and Casazza said. “But we hope that through revised questions, data transparency and recommendations of best practices, we can improve feedback on instruction in multiple ways.”

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