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Interim Course Evaluation Policy

Effective April 9, 2020

Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Houston will implement an interim policy for administering and utilizing the results of student course evaluations. The intent of the interim policy is to ensure that faculty members continue to receive useful quantitative and qualitative student feedback on the courses they have taught during this period. In addition, the interim policy is designed to account for the impact of the sudden and unforeseen transition to online instruction, while also acknowledging that standard indicators of student learning and faculty teaching performance might be skewed or un-calibrated under the current circumstances.

The interim policy is effective immediately and will be implemented as follows:

  1. The Interim Student Course Evaluation Policy applies to all faculty members teaching courses offered during the Spring 2020 semester including Sessions 1, 5, and 6, the 2020 Summer Mini Session, the Summer 2020 semester including Sessions 1 through 4, and the Fall 2020 semester including Sessions 1 through 6.

  2. This policy applies to student course evaluations administered in all undergraduate, graduate and professional program courses taught by all instructors of record regardless of faculty title during the time period this interim policy remains in place.

  3. The following steps will be undertaken as it relates to student course evaluations under the interim policy:
    1. Online student course evaluations will continue to be administered for all classes using the processes and procedures already in place for each department and college. Student course evaluations for the spring 2020 semester will be available for students to complete online beginning April 13, 2020. Student course evaluations for future terms will be available to students following the previous calendar.

    2. Once completed, student course evaluation results will be available online for review by the individual faculty member. The faculty member will have the opportunity to review their evaluation results (both quantitative scores and qualitative comments) at the individual course and/or section level and to then make a choice on whether or not to retain the results of the evaluation or to mask a particular evaluation in the official record.

    3. Student course evaluations masked in this fashion by the faculty member shall be excluded from being part of any future faculty performance review processes, such as the Faculty Annual Performance Review (F-APR) process and the promotion and/or tenure review process.

    4. As such, if an individual faculty member chooses to mask a student course evaluation, the content of such a masked evaluation shall not be used or included as part of any future performance evaluation of the faculty member by any departmental, college or university committee, or administrator.

    5. The Office of the Provost will provide further instructions on the online procedures to be used by individual faculty members to first review and then either accept or mask their student course evaluations as soon as possible.

    6. In order to specifically acquire student feedback on remote learning in a course, the following additional question will be added to all student course evaluations beginning with evaluations for courses taught during the fall 2020 semester. The question is as follows:
      1. Please share feedback on your course experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your comments on different aspects of the course (such as lectures, virtual sessions, online discussions, course communications, assignments and testing methods) will be appreciated. (free response)