Editorial: Take the Survey

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With only one week left in the semester, many feel a sense of lost control. Final project due dates are quickly approaching and that assignment you have been pushing off for weeks — that you said was so easy, you could do it at any time — now seems much harder.

Already the library and Netflix subscriptions are seeing a fair share of usage, as students try to hold it together for just two more weeks.

But in the micro-meltdowns between school work, work and attempts at some sort of social life, students often forgo one additional assignment — one that seems like more of an inconvenience than a possible solution to the stress of finals.

Have you completed the student evaluations for your classes this semester?

Do you know what the surveys are? Do you know how to get to them?

At the end of every semester, evaluations become available to students for the classes they have taken. The purpose of the survey is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the professors’ skills in the classroom, as well as to evaluate the validity of course content.

How many times in the last two weeks have you said: “We didn’t learn this in class;” “This professor isn’t specific in the instructions for this project;” or even, “The textbook doesn’t help in making content easier to understand?”

It seems lapses in classrooms and professor-student interactions come to a head around this time of the year, leaving students to mutter to themselves about a semester’s worth of problems.

But what if the relationship between professors and students and effective use of classroom time could be made better? What if all the stresses of the semester could be resolved for future students? What if it was as simple as answering a survey?

In addition to evaluating the course, the surveys are used as a performance review for professors. Simply taking the time to answer a 13 question survey gives students the power to solve problems which have potentially plagued them for several months.

In a time when Rowan’s growth and development is focusing on future enrollment, it is understandable that some students feel undervalued. This makes small instances where students are given an opportunity to voice their opinions even more important. By answering these surveys, students are given the chance to take control of the quality of their education.

By answering these surveys dishonestly, students are agreeing with the quality of their education. But often, students aren’t in agreement, saying that the class was “stupid” or just a “bother.”

When students are dedicating tens of thousands of dollars to their future, they are entitled to the quality of education that is advertised. More often than not, they don’t get what they purchased. The reason? Surveys.

Sure, surveys seem like a huge inconvenience when you have several projects and final exams to get through, when all you want to do is go home for a month. But they are a key opportunity for students to voice their concerns about their courses, and possibly build a future of even better classes, professors and curricula.

The Whit doesn’t condone responding negatively to a survey just because a class was challenging, or the final was too hard. But The Whit does condone students taking the time to give honest reviews for the benefit of not only themselves, but also future students. An individual voice may not make a difference, but enough voices make enough noise.

So even when the projects are done and the finals are over, remember that there is one last assignment you must do, and it just might be the most important form you fill out.

For questions/comments, about this story, email editor@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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