So You Think You Can Critique?

Megan Town, Andrew McBurney, Gordon Stubley - Course Critiques Director, VP Academic, Associate Dean Teaching
Posted on: March 11, 2017

Hey engineers, it’s that time of the term again! With faculty course critiques around the corner, here are some things to get you up to date. Engineering will again be using UW’s course evaluation platform, Evaluate (https://evaluate.uwaterloo.ca), for the majority of your course evaluations. Of the 20,854 questionnaires being generated this term, only 822 are paper; that’s just over twenty thousand sheets of paper that we don’t have to consume, and that’s amazing!

There are other good reasons for electronic evaluations besides just saving paper. Moving to electronic delivery is the first step toward a new comprehensive evaluation system that will provide instructors of varied course components – labs, projects, seminars, lectures, team-taught, online and other types of courses – with meaningful student feedback. We anticipate the introduction of a new set of core questions that are applicable to all course experiences plus additional question sets that are specific to different teaching modes. This will give instructors of all types of access to your feedback.

In the fall, A-Soc achieved an incredible overall response rate of 66%, which is higher than the average rate for the past 13 years! We’d love to see that momentum continue – if we can maintain these high response rates, paper evaluations will remain a thing of the past.

Between March 13 and 24, students will be given class time to complete Course Critiques electronically. Make sure you find out from your professors when you’ll be given class time so that you can bring your web-enabled phone, tablet or laptop to class, and take Evaluate for a spin.

Your active participation in course evaluations provides course instructors with valuable feedback on their teaching. Your feedback is important, as it helps guide teaching development efforts at the individual, program and faculty levels. So please complete all of your course critiques – future engineers are counting on you!