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TCEs move to Internet

Amanda Gray | Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Notre Dame will be implementing a new system to evaluate professors and courses at the end of this semester, according to the Course Instructor Feedback Web site.

Course Instructor Feedbacks, nicknamed CIFs, will replace Teacher Course Evaluations (TCEs) this semester. According to Gunty, the new system will be completely online, so students will have a longer time to fill out the evaluations.

“You’ll be completing CIFs on your own time and you’ll see more questions that are tailored to the specific class, rather than the uniform set of questions used for TCEs,” said Dr. Mark Gunty, assistant director of Institutional Research at Notre Dame.

Other universities that have implemented an online form have found success, Gunty said.

“We think that the overall quality of feedback will improve,” he said.

Ambour Dawson, a Notre Dame sophomore, thinks the new forms will be beneficial.

“They’ll be much more helpful than the in-class TCEs,” Dawson said. “Most people are ready to leave by the end of class, and don’t want to fill out the TCEs.”

The switch to the new system has been in the works for a while.

“The switch to the new system has been in the planning and implementation stages for two years,” Gunty said. “A core team of about 10 people have been working on this.”

Gunty said the problems that his team is aware of have been worked out.

One difference noted by Gunty was the new ranking of “learning goals.” In the old TCE system, only one goal was selected out of a list and ranked for the course. In the new CIF system, six goals will be available per course, and all will be ranked.

“[The goals] have been selected to match the content and format of the course,” Gunty said.

Laura Lindsley, a Notre Dame sophomore, is optimistic about the new forms.

“Sometimes the questions [on the TCEs] were redundant or didn’t fit,” Lindsley said. “Hopefully these new forms will be helpful, and this in turn will encourage people to fill them out.”

According to the Web site, the layout of the CIF will consist of the parts: the “university tier,” which contains 21 items used for all courses; the “learning goals tier,” which includes six goals tailored for each course; and optional questions added by the instructor. The responses from previous semesters will be available in the future on the Class Search feature on InsideND for students to read when selecting classes. All contact information is kept completely confidential.

The surveys open on Dec. 2 and close Dec. 14, according to the Web site.