US students expect better access to course evaluation data

April 29, 2014

A growing number of students in the US are clamouring for their right to see course evaluation data. Some faculty and administrators favour open access to evaluation data, citing the right of students to make an informed decision as well as improved accountability. One student said that “this would increase professors’ competition with one another to see who can get the highest score.” Critics, however, say that such a move will create a superficial, consumer model based on evaluations that do not accurately reflect course or teacher quality. Some US universities do make evaluation data available as a matter of course; however, even in these situations, students have pushed for easier access to quantitative data. Yale University recently blocked a student-created course evaluation website. The Chronicle of Higher Education