Gone are those days where all education used to be about was cramming textbooks and appearing for biannual examinations. Education in the 21st century is dynamic. Coursework is being updated comprehensively to match up to industry requirements and this needs everybody associated with education to stay on top of their games, be it teachers, administrative staff, laboratory instructors, counsellors, anybody and everybody.
An essential contributor to this could be periodic evaluations of professors by the students themselves. Teacher evaluations by students have been debated since the very inception of the idea and the activity has been facing resistance from a large section of academic experts.
Because Nobody’s Perfect
Students are the future, aren’t they? And teachers dedicate their lives to shaping this very future. So, the question I ask is – Can constructive criticism be harmful in any possible way? All it will do is help students present their opinions based on their classroom experiences. This can be used as a basis of improvement.
Let’s look at teacher evaluations like customer feedback. Even the largest of corporations welcome customer feedback, and they devote considerable time and capital into improving their services based on it. If we look at education as a service (which it kind of is), then feedback is an absolute necessity. Else, the quality of the service will stagnate and will never evolve. Can you even begin to imagine that? Old methods for new coursework, a terrible idea indeed!
The orthodox nature of teaching professionals is the biggest challenge. Some people are unwilling to change or improve, and this attitude is exactly what needs to be eradicated. Teaching is not what it used to be, and the perceived ‘easy life’ the profession offers is a myth. Teachers should realise that this feedback is not aimed at embarrassing them, and it should be taken up as a challenge to become a better version of themselves.
Another challenge is posed from the students’ end. It is highly probable that some foster instinctive dislike to few of their teachers and hence, might fail to provide an honest feedback. This could be attributed to naivety, or even ill will in a few cases. To counter this situation, teacher grading forms should be designed cleverly. Instead of grading, comments can be requested so that students, instead of just giving out a random number on a scale of 1 to 10, write their feedback and support it by justified arguments.
Needless to say, this exercise should be carried out anonymously.
For A Better Tomorrow
It is high time and students should be allowed to grade their teachers. A lot of universities have been undertaking this activity, but it is not being taken seriously. What needs to be understood is that change is essential. And these evaluations will help take the quality of education to the next level. The coming batches will definitely be benefitted in one way or the other. After all, education is all about a better tomorrow, don’t you agree?