Rate your prof

A new teacher evaluation web site, www.campuskit.net, was launched last week. This web site allows students to fill out and view teacher evaluation grids similar to those passed out in class.
The independently run web site comes hot on the heels of Profscan, the CSU-endorsed teacher evaluation web site, which collapsed last year. Student response to the website has already proven to be overwhelming. “I used the old website, and found it quite useful,” said Robert Reda, a second year student. “Hopefully this new web site will be useful as well.”
However, not all student reactions have been positive. “Based on past experience with these types of web sites, I find students that post comments usually hold a grudge against teachers,” said Philippe Gilchrist, a first year student in psychology. “Their comments tend to be grossly exaggerated, demeaning or unrealistic.”
Campuskit is the brainchild a group of Concordia students, who in the fall launched the csusucks.org web site. Penny Ortega, one of the site’s developers said this new site is the result of many failed promises by the CSU to launch such a website, after the collapse of the Profscan web site.
According to Ralph Lee, currently with the CSU and a VP in the newly elected CANDO slate, the downfall of Profscan was due to a threatened lawsuit. This threat was the result of a teacher being labeled a racist through an anonymous comment left on the page.
The CANDO slate hopes to establish its own teacher evaluation site, albeit, one with constraints. “If unconstrained, there is always a question of liability,” said Lee. “If the servers are threatened, they will drop the service”.
Donald Boisvert, dean of students, said it was exactly this lack of constraints, which led to problems in the first place. “The faculty union raised concerns about Profscan after personal, inappropriate allegations were made. People need to take responsibility for what they write.”
Ortega said that unlike Profscan, this web site has no room for anonymous allegations. The evaluation pages are instead based on the teacher evaluation grids passed out in class. Each page is divided into sections, where students can choose certain categories in which to grade teachers.
She added that in order for the web site to work, students as well as professors must provide feedback on the site. Teachers are encouraged to fill out profiles and interviews to be displayed on their individual pages. They are also urged to participate in an open forum on the page, where they can communicate with other teachers, as well as students.
“We did not simply want to make the administration angry,” said Ortega. “The objective of this site is not to piss off teachers, but to help students as well as teachers by providing constructive criticism.”


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