Evaluation Culture

Finals are stressful. Finals are rough. Finals can make or break a semester. And finals mean evaluation time. Evaluate the course, the instructor, other classmates. Tell us what you think! Always anonymously, of course.
I did a stint as a student worker in undergrad and I learned a few things about "anonymous evaluating." As a student, I was too low on the totem pole to worry about. I did, however, watch my advisors, mentors, and supervisors react to these evaluations. It was in this period that I made a pact with myself about evaluation and this finals week, almost 4 years later, I've been sticking to my guns.

{::}I refuse to criticize someone of something anonymously that I wouldn't have the guts to sign my name to / tell him to his face. If I have an issue that warrants that scathing critique or critical response, I need to either sign that evaluation so that the person can choose to look me up for feedback or say nothing at all.

{::}It's not a free-and-clear opportunity to rip someone to shreds. Personal responsibility doesn't end when you are not required to sign your name by the (x) on the dotted line. What we say in these evaluations will be read and absorbed by that person, group, or organization so it's important to consider the impact of our words.

{::}Criticisms without recommendations for improvement are worthless and, in my opinion, cruel. We do this to our friends, lovers, and other drivers in rush hour. We shout at them. We blame them. We keep a running tally of their faults. That's all well and good as a hobby, but if you feel the need to share said things with someone, don't you feel you are responsible for suggesting how to improve? If I tell a restaurant the food is terrible, they know only that I am disappointed. If I tell my server that food was cold, the meat was undercooked, and so on, then they have points for improving my (or someone else's) experience next time.

{::}Since I have a general tendency to react vehemently only in stress, distress, or anger, the odds of writing a really effective and objective evaluation are slim anyway. In that case, what's the point?

{::}Lastly, and perhaps the most influential, I don't believe that anonymous evaluations actually serve any purpose. The times in the past that I have very thoughtfully taken the time to fill them out see no different result than times that I fill out a bubble or two at random. "Administration really takes your thoughts and concerns into consideration." Oh yeah? Until I see evidence that they actually do something, (again) what's the point?

On that note, back to the drawing board on my history paper that I had really really hoped to submit today. Guess not. I addressed the professor in class about it tonight, and one of my classmates told me later that he thought I might break down in the middle of it. I didn't really think I was that passionate in my response, but it just goes to show how we Emotional Emmalous can be without even knowing it.

If you get bored, chickadees, call me, tweet me, text me! Looks like I'm in for another long night.

Peace and Apple Sauce.

Sarah :: Plucky in Love

Sarah, aka "Plucky", blogs on the reg, unless she's on vacation or there's a Pretty Little Liars marathon or she's mulling over the implications of the phrase "on fleek." She can't live without iced coffee, a portable phone charger, or equal pay. Say hello!

No comments:

Post a Comment