The traditional understanding of teaching is that it is students who are supposed to be evaluated during and after the lessons: their performance, their knowledge, their skills. However, with the growing prominence of open teaching, the idea that teachers should be evaluated and given feedback from their students becomes more and more important. There are many reasons for it:
1. It Raises the Quality of Teaching
Whether it happens informally or by means of some evaluation forms, feedback from students provides teachers with insights into what they do right, what they do wrong and what can be done better. There are moments that a teacher may not even consider – simply because they always did things one way, and it feels natural to go on.
2. It Makes Teaching More Interesting
We all remember at least one teacher or professor from school or college who obviously either didn’t belong to their job or couldn’t understand what teaching is all about. Lessons with such a teacher drag out, mind-numbing boredom prevents you from remembering anything the moment you leave the class, and every other learning session is a terrible ordeal for you. Feedback from students can potentially move such teacher to change their methods to better engage and interest their students.
3. It Makes It Easier for Professors to Use New Technologies
Older teachers and professors tend to be more conservative about their teaching methods and less ready to incorporate new technologies into their teaching routines – often they are too set in their ways to start using helpful things like Google Drive, videoconferencing, etc. However, they often need just a little push to recognize their usefulness – and feedback from students can help with that.
4. It Gives Students More Control over What They Are Studying
And, in turn, increases their engagement. When students can propose material for discussion or suggest examples to be used as illustration, they feel they are not just recipients of education, but active participants as well. They are likely to be more interested in material they proposed than something imposed on them by the system.
5. It Gives More Opportunities to Learn Things You Actually Need
When students can give feedback to their teachers, it means that they can ask questions and steer the process of education in directions that they feel are going to be useful for them in their chosen careers.
6. It Allows Sharing of Ideas
With all the attempted and realized innovations we see every year, education is still a rather one-sided process. Educators try out new things or stick to the old ones, but they still usually do it as if they were experimenting on crops rather than interacting with sentient beings. Unless students are allowed to provide feedback, the evidence about successfulness and failure of methods can never be complete.
As you may see, evaluation of teacher’s job by students should be an important part of education – it is something rarely practiced, but it truly can considerably improve the situation in our schools and colleges.