SEOIs crucial for future students

Matt Escamilla, Staff Reporter

According to Lene Pedersen, chair and member of the Faculty Senate at Central, teacher-student collaboration and evaluation is the heart of a successful educational system.

Pedersen believes, without it, teachers wouldn’t be able to reflect on their learning and teaching philosophies.

“Evaluations are taken seriously [at Central] and help shape the classroom,” Pederson said.

Currently, less than 30 percent of Central students respond to the Student Evaluations of Instruction (SEOI) surveys that are sent out at the end of every quarter.

According to Hauke Harfst, Central’s student government and Faculty Senate “are moving forward with the education and advertising process” in an effort to increase the response rate to SEOIs.

Harfst said he hopes to create a short informational video to educate Central students on the importance of SEOIs.

Some Central students don’t believe the surveys are worthwhile, but the faculty disagrees.

“Students have a lot of power,” said Associate Chair and Professor of horn Jeff Snedeker. “Faculty do care about evaluations. If they didn’t, why do some faculty offer extra credit?”

Snedeker said that SEOIs help alert professors to student issues and help them deal with credible students concerns.

There is concern among students that SEOIs aren’t anonymous and that they could lead to conflict in the classroom. This fear isn’t without some justification.

According to Harfst, a student was confronted by a professor two years ago about their responses to the survey because the student’s handwriting was recognized.

Fortunately, this isn’t a problem now that the evaluations are online and anonymity is protected.

Student responses to SEOIs also help future students, as they allow professors to evaluate their teaching methods.

“Everyone deserves a chance to fix things,” Snedeker said.