SBCC teacher evaluations evolve from paper to digital format

ZACHARY PATTERSON, Channels Staff

City College students will begin to conduct surveys of their professors via an electronic device this semester. The move away from the traditional paper form has raised concerns at the college.

Dr. Z Reisz is the director of institutional assessment research and planning, and oversees the office in charge of the conducting the survey.

“It is the smallest change we could make,” Reisz explained. “It is virtually the same.”

Students will be given a paper about the size of a note card. On it is a scan code and a number either of which can be used on the survey’s website. Once the student is verified they are asked to answer a few questions and provide comments.

The survey is conducted in class, however students have 48 hours to complete the evaluation. The additional time provided is to accommodate any student that doesn’t have an electronic device present at that time.

Reisz explained how his office used to gather data from the paper surveys. Previously students were required to do this process in class on a paper form. That paper would go through an arduous process of filing and transcribing a process Reisz described as, “incredibly inefficient.”

The change comes amidst a growing budget deficit that the college is attempting to curb through the Work Reduction Attrition Plan.

Priscilla Butler, president of the Academic Senate, explained the plan.

“We are no longer automatically replacing positions,” she said, “and the college has to look for ways to more efficiently complete required work.”

This saves the college thousands of hours, according to Butler.

Faculty fear the transition may danger the integrity of feedback from students, questioning how many will conduct the survey if taken out of class.

“If students don’t have access to digital technology or have other issues that limit their ability to participate, the online surveys might pose a greater challenge than paper,” she said.

In anticipation of these woes, Reisz explained that departments can request a paper survey be conducted in class.

The college is maintaining its balance as it navigates through this transitional process but ultimately the success is in the hands of students.

“It all comes down to campus culture,” Reisz said, explaining that conducting surveys as a student is apart of life in many schools.