The 2019 Annual Faculty Review will be the first time student evaluation of teaching comments will be available to chairs/heads as they evaluate faculty performance.  The new teaching policy will take effect for Fall 2020.

The Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Center Co-Directors, Don Johnson, Julie Trivitt, and Lori Holyfield put together a presentation for Department Heads and Chairs regarding reading student comments in relation to evaluating faculty performance.

The presentation features comments from faculty on the subject of student comments, overall criticisms of the practice, information from the 2016 American Association of University Professors comprehensive survey of faculty members about teaching evaluations, best practices in using student comments in evaluating teaching, and additional evaluation options.

Presentation to Department Heads and Chairs



This presentation is also available in accessible PDF format.

Related Links


Brockx, B.,  Van Roy, K., Mortelmans, D. (2012.)  “The Student as a Commentator:  Students’ Comments in Student Evaluations of Teaching,”  Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, December 2012, pp 1122-1133.

Doerer, K. (2019).  “Colleges Are Getting Smarter About Student Evaluations.  Here’s How.”  The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 13.

Falkoff, M. (2018).  “Why we must stop relying on student ratings of teachers.”  Chronicle Vitae, April 26.

Farr, M.  2018.  “Arbitration Decision on Student Evaluations of Teaching Applauded by Faculty.”  University Affairs August 28.  Retrieved from

Ferguson, M.  (2011).  “Administrators Use of Student Evaluations of Professors.”  International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(17), pp 75-83.

Franklin, J.  (2001).  “Interpreting the Numbers:  Using a Narrative To Help Others Read Student Evaluations of Your Teaching Accurately.”  New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n 87, p 85-100.

Lewis, K.  (2001).  “Making Sense of Student Written Comments.” New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no 87, pp 25 – 32.

Linse, A. R. (2017).  “Interpreting and using student ratings data:  Guidance for faculty serving as administrators and on evaluation committees.”  Studies in Educational Evaluation, 54, pp 94 – 106.

Owen, Ann. (2019.)  “Relying on often-biased student evaluations to assess faculty could lead to lawsuits.“  Op-ed.   Inside Higher Ed, June 24.

Stark, Philip.  2013.  “Do student evaluations measure teaching effectiveness?”  The Berkeley Blog.  October 14.

Stark-Wroblewski, Kimberly & Ahlering, Robert & Brill, Flannery. (2007). “Toward a more comprehensive approach to evaluating teaching effectiveness: Supplementing student evaluations of teaching with pre-post learning measures.” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. 32. 403-415. 10.1080/02602930600898536.