Midterm lecture evaluation was launched at YU last year. However, there was a much lowerparticipation rate of approximately 47% compared with existing lecture evaluation which has about a95% participation rate. This means the awareness of midterm lecture evaluation is poor. The Observerlooked into the efforts of other schools and listened to the opinions of our students and professors.
In contrast to existing lecture evaluation, conducted at the close of the school term, midterm lecture evaluationstarted last year and are conducted during the term. Midterm lecture evaluation was made for applying studentopinions to lectures immediately. It would not be using on result inquiry when you don’t participate in existing lectureevaluation. However midterm lecture evaluation has no such rules. Some people asked, “Should we need toparticipate in midterm lecture evaluation?” on YU community site ‘YUKiKi.’ Other students answered that there is noneed to participate in midterm lecture evaluation as there are no penalty in not doing so.
The current state of other universities
In the case of Chonbuk National University, the evaluation is composed of 2 descriptive questions. This makes theanswers faithful but it does not provide feedback on the lectures. Moreover, it is connected with result inquiry anddissatisfied to students about it. In the case of Sookmyung Women’s University, the participation rate in 2013 wasrecorded at 20%. Moreover, questions were not related with lecture performance so students are embarrassed. One ofthe reasons for the poor participation rate was that it was not compelled like YU. Kyungpook National University whichis close to YU implements a two-evaluation per semester system in 2009 which consisted of 26 objective questions and3 subjective questions. It was changed to 5 objective questions and 2 subjective questions in 2010. Questions weredecreased sharply because too many questions reduced student participation.
Efforts to improve midterm lecture evaluation
Case of Dongseo university, they evaluate different theory subjects and experiment subjects to solve unsuitablequestions from character of lectures. Also case of Dongguk University, they mandate midterm lecture evaluation:those who don’t participate can’t apply for scholarship in the evaluation. In addition they implement 3 lectureevaluations a semester. Universities including Inha University give presents to students who participate in midtermlecture evaluation to increase participation.
Opinion of professors about midterm lecture evaluation
What is your opinion about midterm lecture evaluation?
Professor Jeong-sub Nam : The purpose is good. However I’m skeptical about implementing a standardized midterm lecture evaluation. Professor should have autonomy to a certain level. This evaluating system is grading professors using these results. It is a serious problem. In the case of freshmen and sophomores, they know insufficiently about their major’s field of study and yet they evaluate the lectures on those subjects. Therefore, it is wise to use midterm lecture evaluation for only reference to improve lectures.
Professor Woo-kyoung Kim : I think midterm lecture evaluation is a good idea. The existing lecture evaluation system conducted at the close of a school term a year can only be applied to lectures in the following year. However, midterm lecture evaluation can be applied to lectures at that semester’s latter half, so it will be more useful than the existing lecture evaluation system.
Are the midterm lecture evaluation questions adequate?
Professor Jeong-sub Nam : I think they are somewhat adequate. However, standardization limits the validity of the questions. Furthermore, questions are too universial to apply to specific lectures. Evaluation surveys should be created by the professors themselves. The current midterm lecture evaluation system is a little bit unilateral.
Professor Woo-kyoung Kim : I think they are appropriate to evaluate lectures. However it is important to make the questions flexible in order to fit the lecture’s character. Moreover, midterm lecture evaluation needs to be distinct from existing lecture evaluation. It will make midterm lecture evaluation more efficient.
What are some ways to improve the midterm lecture evaluation system?
Professor Jeong-sub Nam : We have to get rid of inefficiecy from the midterm lecture evaluation system. It is to give autonomy to the professors. In addition, using good lecture evaluation not as a method of performance evaluation but as a way to give tips for improvement. It can reduce the burden on professors as well as restraining irresponsible student evaluation.
Professor Woo-kyoung Kim : It is fine now. However last semester, the midterm lecture evaluation participation was recorded at 50% which was low. So it would be better to take measures to improve participation. However, emphasizing the good points of midterm lecture evaluation to students could improve participation rather than making it mandatory. In addition, it some evaluation questions are revised, lecture evaluation will be more fruitable.
Midterm lecture evaluation can affect lectures directly by evaluating lectures during the semester. Therefore, high participation of students can make lectures that the students want and will enjoy. However students and professor still don’t know as much about midterm lectures as the preexisting lecture evaluation system. Therefore, the university needs to promote it and improve the questions to better fit the lectures. Professors need feedback to meet student needs. Also, students need to participate enthusiastically even if there are no advantages. If midterm lecture evaluation is activated, it would make for great lectures. To make such lectures, we need student, professor and school effort.