This article is from the WLUFA Advocate January 2016 4.5.
Joanne Oud, Co-chair, Joint Liaison Committee
In Fall 2016, students will be asked to complete a new teaching evaluation form. Major changes to the form include some new sections on student demographics, program outcomes, and student comments, and the option for instructors and departments to choose additional questions for their own use. While this considerably expands the number of questions, only the section on the instructor (which does not include space for student comments and is similar to the current teaching evaluation form) will be put in the official file for tenure and hiring decisions.
In parallel, the Joint Liaison Committee (which deals with issues arising between contract negotiations) has agreed to allow online administration of teaching evaluation forms, with some specific parameters based on our research on experiences at other institutions. Each course will be assigned a 24-hour course evaluation window before the beginning of term so instructors can plan around it. Evaluations will be done in class with a window available (midnight to midnight on the assigned day) for students who do not bring electronic de-vices to class or in the event the network or WiFi is down. A pilot will take place this term in select courses to work out any technical issues, and full implementation is expected by the fall.
The new form—developed by a Bilateral Committee that was mandated in the 2011–14 Full-Time Collective Agreement and revised in light of suggestions from student and faculty focus groups—has been accepted by the Joint Liaison Committee. As specified in the Part-time Collective Agreement, a ratification vote was held for Contract Academic Faculty in Fall 2015, which passed with 65 percent in favour of adopting the new evaluation form. For more information, contact the Teaching and Learning office.