Student Evaluation of Teaching, Policy on

Student Evaluation of Teaching, Policy on

Topic: Academic Standards, Grades, Conduct of Examinations
Approval Authority: Senate


The main purposes of seeking student evaluation of teaching are to assist faculty members in monitoring their effectiveness as teachers and to assist departments in monitoring the quality of their curricula. Important additional purposes include assisting in decisions regarding tenure and promotion, assisting in identifying exceptional teachers for teaching awards and documenting exceptional teaching.

SCOTL encourages faculty to make appropriate selection from among the variety of methods for gaining student feedback on teaching detailed in the SCOTL Guide to Teaching Assessment and Evaluation (PDF). SCOTL also encourages faculty to engage in the variety of other practices related to reflection on teaching detailed in the SCOTL Teaching Documentation Guide (PDF). In setting out the guidelines below and, in particular, in requiring as a minimum that feedback be sought from students on at least one occasion during the course, SCOTL would also continue to encourage instructors to make more frequent requests for feedback and to seek it in additional forms.

In general, the guidelines below are intended to effect the following: On at least one occasion per course (or half-course), feedback is provided to all instructors in the form of a department- or Faculty-approved questionnaire, the results of which go to the department, to support curriculum review and tenure and promotion processes, and to the instructor. In the event that there is no Faculty- or department-approved evaluation form, guidelines for constructing teaching evaluation instruments and selected model forms will be made available through the Centre for the Support of Teaching


SCOTL strongly encourages instructors to make use of on-going course evaluation and regularly to inform students of how previous feedback has led to modification in the teaching of the course. Courses in which 5 students or fewer are enrolled need not be evaluated.


On at least one occasion per course (or half-course), all instructors shall provide their classes with a questionnaire which allows students to evaluate the course and instruction and which

  1. is the department- or Faculty-approved form(s), (until such Faculty- or department-approved form(s) are available, instructors shall administer their own feedback instruments in accordance with these guidelines)
  2. allows for quantification of some of the results
  3. provides for and clearly distinguishes feedback on course content from feedback on instructor's pedagogical effectiveness
  4. clearly distinguishes feedback for various instructors when more than one is involved in the course
  5. allows for student anonymity.

Administration Process

The process of its administration shall have the following features:

  1. the date on which the evaluation form is to be provided to students is announced to the class in advance
  2.  the date for this course/instructor evaluation is set reasonably close to the end of the course
  3. a sufficient amount of class time is allowed for the completion of the form
  4. the instructor is not present in the room while the evaluation is being done
  5. a person other than the instructor collects the questionnaires and delivers them directly to the department

Availability of Results

  1. The results of the evaluations are provided to the instructor as soon as possible after the submission of final marks
  2. The following will also have access to results:
    • Curriculum committees and other review bodies/individuals: for purposes of curricular review.
    • Department/Division Chairs: for purposes of mentoring faculty and selecting candidates for teaching awards and
    • Tenure and promotion committees: for their mandated purposes--this is to include access to relevant individual results and to comparative data.
  3. Departments/Divisions/Faculties may develop their own policies for further distribution of results.
  4. SCOTL encourages Departments/Divisions/Faculties to make quantifiable results available to students.


  1. Chairs (or equivalents) will take responsibility for the integrity and implementation of this policy within their Divisions/Departments/units.
Legislative History: Approved by Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning: 1996/04/14; Approved by Senate: 1996/06/27. Date Effective: 1996/06/27.