I’m writing to express my concern that Kansas State does not provide resources to help students know of a professor’s teaching style before enrolling in their courses.
As enrollment for the fall 2018 semester has begun, students will resort to asking their friends for recommendations of professors instead of having teachers’ evaluation results, or TEVALs, published for them.
I am a senior at K-State, and I am studying political science. Each semester, while preparing my shopping cart of courses, I ask my friends or contemplate whether I would like my new professors and if I would learn effectively from them.
Many of the students at K-State don’t know what the courses entail or what the professors’ techniques will be, unless they get the chance to meet them after many emails or have had them before. Those students who are still in their first year have even more limited resources if they have not had a chance to know people within their programs.
As students for the majority of our lives, we have at one point associated with a professor and learned more from them than others. This may be simply for the reason that we felt they were approachable to us or we liked their teaching techniques.
Publishing TEVALs can help students find the professor that they best align with while also encouraging educators to take evaluations seriously through being held accountable. Currently, the only resources available are other students who choose to disclose their opinions and ratemyprofessors.com, which has been highly criticized for reliability and selective bias.
The TEVALs are intellectual property of the instructors, but they have to become property of K-State in order to be published. The change would have to be made through the Office of the General Council, which is in charge of drafting policy and their interpretation. The office, however, only meets with administrators and representatives of students.
I urge you readers to contact your Student Body President and urge her to represent the students’ interests among the administrators. Contact information is on the Student Government Association’s website at k-state.edu/sga/contact.
Siba Khojah is a senior in political science. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.