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8 Things to Remember When SETs Get You Down

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While the validity of Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs)
is still up for debate, feedback is intended to help improve instruction. See what other instructors have to say about this long-standing practice.

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8 Things to Remember When SETs Get You Down

  1. 1. 8 Things to Remember When SETs Get You Down
  2. 2. While the validity of Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs) is still up for debate, feedback can impact course planning when it’s specific and constructive. Read on for relatable experiences from instructors in our WileyPLUS community about how you can look on the bright side of student evaluations:
  3. 3. Focus on the positive. “Even if 99% of the student feedback is positive, the one nasty review from a student with a personal vendetta really hurts.”
  4. 4. Think about tomorrow, not only today. “My goal is to teach them what they need to be successful, so I’m more concerned what their opinion of me is in five years when they’ve graduated and started their careers.”
  5. 5. Talk to your students. “I will adjust the course to some degree based on student feedback, but only if I understand the underlying motivation for the response. I never get that level of detail from institutional evaluations, it only comes from a direct conversation with my students.”
  6. 6. Get continual feedback. “I give a formative evaluation after every major test. Sometimes, the students hit the nail on the head, and you have an a-ha moment based on their honesty.”
  7. 7. Ask for specifics. “I craft a diagnostic tool that is specific about what I want from students. Asking ‘what can I do better?’ is not as specific as ‘rate the instructor’s knowledge of the content’ or ‘were there any … areas in which you felt inadequately prepared?’”
  8. 8. Have an open mind. “They [SETs] are helpful, especially if trends are recorded over time. Keeping an open mind to all comments is the best.”
  9. 9. Find meaning. “I ask [students] to tell me what worked well for them as well as what didn’t instead of just telling me they loved or hated the class. Most of the responses I get are more specific and actually very useful.”
  10. 10. Be open to change. “I often make adjustments based on student feedback, such as the amount of homework or frequency of tests. I try to give mid-term evaluations so I can make changes during the semester.”
  11. 11. Learn more about the next generation of WileyPLUS. Visit wileyplus.com/nextgen Take me there These opinions were collected from instructors in the WileyPLUS Studio, an online community of educators who connect, collaborate, and share insights.
  12. 12. Join the WileyPLUS Studio to connect with your peers, get tips, influence product design, and earn rewards. JOIN TODAY Already a WileyPLUS user?