I’m beyond annoyed, people. Here I was, posting cute pictures of food and enjoying my first free day this semester. And then I received a colleague’s email about a new round of problems with our student evaluations.
Initially, we had the kind of evaluations where students were asked questions and expected to provide actual responses. In their own sentences or even paragraphs. Imagine that, students writing paragraphs after taking courses in the Humanities. We’d ask them what they liked about a course, what they didn’t like, what they thought could be done to improve it, etc. The responses were fun to read, and I even posted excerpts from them here on the blog. Every batch of evaluations allowed me to hear my students’ voices, see what they had to say about my teaching, get feedback. This was both useful and inspiring.
Then, some. . . person in the . . . administration (dots stand for a string of expletives in a variety of languages) decided that the evaluations have to be quantifiable because, otherwise, you have no idea how to interpret them during tenure review. I have no idea what’s so hard about interpreting “Prof. Clarissa is the best teacher ever. I adore her and will recommend her fantastic course to everybody!!!”, but we all know that the administrators are not particularly smart. So maybe reading this kind of responses is, indeed, too intellectually challenging for them.
So now, instead of actual statements from my students, I get a bunch of Scantron sheets. I don’t even look at them because the kind of feedback that tells me I got 4.86 out of 5 is useless to me. Besides, the system takes into account students who weren’t in class as if they were there and gave you zeros for everything. So if there is even one student who was absent on the evaluation day, your ranking drops.
But this isn’t all. Apparently, there has been a problem with the Scantron sheets. Or the person interpreting the sheets got confused. Or the students got confused. Or the makers of the questionnaire did. I don’t know and I don’t care. All I know is that in several sections of the Scantron sheet 1 stands for excellent and 5 for poor, while in other sections it’s the opposite. So now we are all ranked really low because the system processed our high rankings as abysmally low. And we will now have to offer long and convoluted explanations to the Personnel committee during our tenure reviews for why our teaching sucked so much in the past year.
What the flying fuck, people? Until when will we keep allowing these brainless fucks of administrators to get between us and our students because these extremely highly paid jerks are too stupid to read a few sentences?
In case nobody has noticed, I’m very angry right now.