Encouraging Student Ratings of Teaching (Teaching Tip)

Jason Chan teaching a lecture course
Jason Chan teaching a lecture course
We are rapidly approaching the end of Spring 2022, which means in part, seeking, end-of-course feedback from students. Student ratings are not perfect measurements of teaching effectiveness but can create an opportunity for students to reflect on their perceptions of the learning and the classroom environment.
Strategies for better course ratings include:
  • Seeking constructive feedback. Student input is most helpful when it is specific, focused, and respectful. Suggest a focus on observable behaviors and practices that the instructor can control, rather than remarks or criticisms based on identity.
  • Use class time to complete evaluations. Provide a bit of class time at the end of a session for students to complete their ratings (while you are not in the virtual or physical classroom).
  • Ensure students understand the importance of the feedback. Share with students an example of how you’ve used past feedback to make changes or provide examples of constructive feedback comments. 
  • Explain how ratings are used. Share with students how these evaluations are used by you to improve teaching, and how they are used at the department-level.
  • Consider offering an incentive. For example, once a percentage of the entire class has completed the evaluation, offer a small amount of extra credit.
To help make sense of the student ratings, consult the CELT Student Ratings Analysis Worksheet or work with a CELT Faculty Fellow or staff member.
If you have questions about end-of-course student ratings, contact your departmental SubUnit administrator.

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: Resources for Success (April 21, 2022 – Constant Contact) page.

Prefer a Print Version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for April 21, 2022 (PDF).