If we, as an institution, are serious about improving the quality of instruction, it is critically important to obtain honest and unbiased evaluations from students about their courses and instructional experiences. Individual faculty and academic departments have specific responsibilities associated with the evaluation process. Among others, "each college/department should communicate to instructors that they should not be present during the evaluation and should not handle the evaluation materials." Faculty should honor that prohibition. Occasionally, students complain that instructors stay in the classroom while students complete the evaluation form or that faculty read course evaluations directly after their collection.
Obviously, students will be reluctant to complete a course evaluation honestly unless they are confident they will not be punished for their honesty. We request that faculty give students every reason to believe their opinons are taken seriously and will be used impartially and confidentially.