4 December 2018
Starting today, Faculty Course Questionnaire (FCQ) will be available for students to view online for the fall 2018 semester.
FCQs allow students to answer questions about how well the course was administered by their instructor, giving students the chance to anonymously rate their education.
Students can see the results of their instructors’ reviews online and use them to help determine their future class schedules.
David Moon is a political science professor and special assistant to the provost.
Moon says that the main reasons students should participate in the course questionnaires is because it better helps faculty improve their courses. The more students that participate, the better faculty understands how well their instruction is being received.
On top of participating in answering the FCQ questions, Moon says that students should also be aware of the overall results for the FCQs for the sake of picking future classes in a more informed way. Moon says that “Reading the FCQ results is optional, but we want students to be able to pick the courses that will work best for them.” Moon continues by saying that the committee chose the new questions because they were concerned that the old questions did not give students much information to use when deciding on a particular course for a particular instructor.
Last year, Moon chaired a committee developed for the purpose of evaluating the kinds of questions that were being asked of students and faculty at the end of each semester.
Moon said that FCQ changes were initiated by the CU system, but UCCS decided to use their own questions after a committee developed a course centric approach.
“The Faculty Council, which is the system-wide faculty governance body, decided to take a look at the questions on the FCQs. Over the course of a year and a half, a faculty group was working with the Boulder FCQ office, which is the group that administers the FCQs for us,” said Moon.
Moon said that that new questions were developed by spring of 2017, but it was decided not to use them by the fall.
Moon said that the questions developed for use at UCCS were based on a faculty and student survey researching a solution to FCQ questions that would best help both students and faculty use FCQ results effectively.
“What we learned over the course of the year was that both faculty and students wanted the questions to have more to do with helping faculty improve their courses. Both faculty and students really wanted us to focus more on student learning and the kinds of things that help students learn,” he said.
According to Moon, there were students and faculty who questioned the effectiveness of FCQ evaluations conducted as they are, but some students felt very strongly about retaining their ability to grade professors.
“Some faculty also thought that was important,” Moon said. “Others [said that] there’s so many things that go into determining whether or not a student likes a course that using that as a measurement of how effective a faculty member is [doesn’t explain what faculty actually does].”
The survey responses that requested FCQs to be more focused on instructors had the greatest impact with the committee, The committee wanted the FCQs to be a reflection of how the course operates, and what the faculty actually does in their classes to teach students the material.
“The questions are things like ‘did the readings help you learn the material’, ‘did the materials help you learn the content?’ and ‘were the exams and the assignments relevant to the material you were being asked to review?’ I would think those kinds of things would be extremely helpful for students [to know].”
“We hope the new questions give students a lot more meaningful information about whether that course and instructor will be a good fit for them.”