Course Evaluations

Overview

Brown uses an online course evaluation system for the use of faculty in all departments. Standard forms have been developed to meet the needs of the different divisions of the College, and each department has the option of customizing its evaluation form. 

The course evaluation system opens to students in the fall term the week after Thanksgiving. In the spring term, the system opens in late April. Departments may set the opening of their evaluations at a later date in the term if they wish. A grade block feature prevents students from viewing their final grade in a given course until they either complete a form or indicate that they prefer not to.

The course evaluation system remains open until the last day that faculty are allowed to submit final course grades--generally, the first week in January for fall term courses, and the first week in June for the spring term. Faculty may view their course evaluations through their secure Banner log-in one or two business days after the system closes. Cognos reports providing departmental data to Chairs are available approximately a week after the system closes. 

For more information about the evaluation system, consult the pages on the Faculty Executive Committee website.

2017 Review of the Course Evaluation Instrument

In summer 2017, in preparation for the upcoming NEASC review and in response to the University’s broader Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) discussions, the Dean of the College charged a committee to assess Brown’s online course evaluation system, addressing questions around format and content; diversity and inclusion; data collection and assessment; and future evaluation of teaching at Brown.  

Read the Committee Charge

Committee Workplan (Brown log-in required)

Selection of Materials Reviewed by the Committee:

  • *Linse, Angela R. “Interpreting and using student ratings data: Guidance for faculty serving as administrators and on evaluation committees." Studies in Educational Evaluation 12 (2016): 1-13. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-EgUk_LruRDdmstUG1TS1JuWHM/view (accessed November 9, 2017).
  • Summary of teaching evaluation practices at Ivy (plus) institutions as of summer 2017
  • Summary of student rating practices at Ivy (plus) institutions as of summer 207
  • Selected bibliography on student ratings