Faculty members have generally lamented the lack of useful information one can discern from student evaluations of courses. Often it becomes a popularity contest or students are asked to evaluate things like content knowledge of the instructor, for which they do not have the expertise to do so. In some cases, one of the main criteria for evaluating teaching by a supervisor has been "over-all assessment of the instructor" which is then further reduced to a numerical mean. As Provost Toll has often said, "What does reporting a score of 3.798657 on this item really say about one's teaching?"
Student Learning Focus
There was a call for an instrument that was more formative rather than summative. For that reason, the Faculty Senate through the Faculty Affairs Team, UFF, and the Office of Planning and Institutional Performance began the process in the fall of 2013 to research, develop and pilot an instrument that moved away from the Student Assessment of Instruction (SAI) to the SPoI.
The change from “assessment” to “perception” was very intentional to emphasize the purpose of the instrument. The emphasis is on student learning and what students “perceive” to support learning in specific courses.
Instructors can review and use the SPoI feedback to strengthen and improve teaching and learning in their classes. The information obtained in the SPoI includes focused open response items that can be used by the instructor to uncover behaviors that assist in student learning, to write PDP goals, and ultimately collect feedback to support the Annual Review of teaching based upon the goals written.
SPoI will be implemented during spring 2015 and faculty members will have the ability
to add up to 5 additional items to the survey so that they can get focused feedback
on specific details in a course.
Your faculty colleagues who worked on the research, writing and piloting of this new instrument hope that the information collected from SPoI will be useful to you and inform your teaching.
Professional Development Opportunities
The Lucas Center and Digital Learning will provide informative, relevant, and useful “trainings” on how to add discipline or course specific questions, use student feedback, use the Canvas components, and how to motivate students to participate in the process. Information on these opportunities will be posted on the Senate Website, Lucas Center Website, through your FGCU email, and on the FGCU Homepage with directions for reserving a place.
To access your SPoI results:
In the SPoI dashboard, use the tabs on the top of the page to access your results. Select Instructor Results to view all results since Spring 2015. You can then download each individual survey or a single batch report as PDFs. We recommend selecting "PDF with Comments."
The Student Assessment of Instruction (SAI) survey was used prior to Spring 2015. These surveys are available on the Cross Department network drive in Planning & Institutional Performance by term.