Course Evaluations: Your Anti-Spam

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What Columbia is filling your inboxes with

Over the last few weeks, your correspondent has received a total of seven automatic reminders to fill out course evaluations (i.e. spam) and three personal emails from professors requesting that their evaluations be completed. And they are pretty important—filling out course evaluations lets professors know what works and what doesn’t in their classes. Unfortunately, course official evaluations only help professors. Other students can’t see them…at least not yet. That means you’ve got to write CULPA reviews, too, so your fellow Columbians know which classes are amazing and which are even more pointless than Frontiers! And if you couldn’t care less about any of that good citizen crap, then do it so Columbia stops spamming your inboxes!

UPDATE: As this post was being published, Bwog received yet another email reminder!

Canned meat from Wikimedia Commons

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  1. evaluation rant  

    Argh, I filled out my evaluations the second day they were available to avoid the emails, but since then I've become 10x more aggravated with my TA and wish I hadn't been so generous on her review. I'm a TA and I hate reading negative reviews of myself, so I was nice on hers....but SHE'S SO UNPROFESSIONAL ARHGHOISHDF

    Question is: do I review an undergrad TA on CULPA?

  2. CC'11  

    This is probably the absolute worst week to send constant reminders about evaluations. People have 80 pages and/or five finals to write in the next week and a half. Filling out evaluations is going to be really, really low on most people's list of priorities.

  3. Anonymous

    19 evaluation reminders! As a graduating senior, I've come to realize that it doesn't matter if you fill out the evaluations, one way or another, the reminders will find a way into your inbox. Sticking with CULPA and if the admins and profs want to check for my evaluation there, then by all means.

    While typing this comment, a 20th just got sent to me...

  4. Anonymous  

    Everyone is extremely busy with finals so if you don't have time now to fill out evaluations, then don't. Also, if you don't feel like writing an essay on Culpa, check out and fill out an evaluations AFTER FINALS...when you have the time. Each one takes a minute. We don't need the administration to be able to see comprehensive teacher reviews.

  5. Anonymous

    i wrote a review three weeks ago that still isn't up!!!

    • CULPA  

      Thank you for reviewing! We have 157 reviews in our queue right now. We're doing our best to get through them, but we have exams of our own (and we keep getting more reviews). Please be patient, and thanks again!

  6. Anonymous

    Three points:

    1) Evaluations need to be public;
    2) Evaluations need to be due AFTER finals, not before;
    3) Evaluations need to be proven to have some demonstrable effect.

    This last point is arguably the most important. I have no idea what difference evaluations make. Can anyone tell me? (Seriously, not a rhetorical question. I'd really like to know what benefit we've received by me and my thousands of classmates filling out all of these evaluations every semester.)

  7. CCSC!  

    Make the course evaluations public!

  8. Anonymous  

    Course evaluations won't be released because they do not matter to the teacher. A teacher has 8 years to acquire tenure, and if they don't, they are fired. Whether or not they are a good teacher is irrelevant to their gaining tenure. It mostly depends on grants, research, and being published etc. The questions on the evaluations are not intended for the student, but the professor. Since the professor is most likely not going to read them because they simply need passing marks to be considered for tenure. In addition, releasing course evaluations can IN NO WAY benefit the college and their faculty. Thus, they won't do it. Working with the administration in this respect is almost futile.

    We need to do it ourselves. Fill out a culpa review or a swap college review. Just know they won't be released and students need to do what they can to help each other out if the administration won't!

    If you track this statement, you will see I have recently recommended swap college. Mostly, I just was student reviews so do them anywhere...AFTER FINALS. Focus on school and forget about this for now.

    • Anonymous  

      That's not entirely true. Full professors often don't care about their evaluations, but there ARE things like the presidential teaching award or departmental teaching awards. Some people really do care about their teaching. Often they are "lecturers" or grad students, or even in some cases, undergrads. These people are not attempting to get tenure. They are at Columbia to teach. And as someone who has both taught and helped go through old course evaluations in another department, I can tell you, they DO care what you write.

      Granted, I've also seen the department administrator in one of those departments reading CULPA reviews of the grad students. It's possible that other departments do this as well.

  9. Anonymous  

    You raise great points. I just don't see the administration releasing them. I also don't think that the reviews we fill out will benefit us that much if they are released. They don't ask questions that the students care about. Regardless, I think everyone is on the same page in the sense that the current system we have now is not good and we all want public reviews or even a better system of teacher reviews.

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