Report sheds new light on harmful impacts of student questionnaire feedback

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In recent years there has been mounting evidence of the dubious validity and inherent bias in student questionnaires on courses and teaching (SQCTs), sometimes also known as student evaluations of teaching (SETs).

In 2018, OCUFA supported a study of the implications of open-ended student comments in these questionnaires and how they might affect faculty mental health, wellbeing, professional self-esteem, and pedagogical practise. Also supported by the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA), the results have been published in a new report. Among other results, Rachel La Touche, Lisa Kowalchuk, and Rochelle Wijesingha found that faculty from equity-seeking groups are more likely to receive comments that are pedagogically irrelevant, and are more frequently subjected to comments that are hostile or abusive. The negative impact on well-being is also higher for women and racialized faculty members. Negative professional self-esteem is also experienced at a greater rate by contract faculty.

The report, along with a webinar discussing the report’s findings, are available on the CSA’s website.

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