How to Make a Reliable and Useful Teacher Evaluation Form

If you want your teacher evaluation form to be thorough and engaging, try avoiding these common mistakes.

Despite their contested reputation among the academics, teacher evaluation forms became somewhat of a standard in lecturing. The reasoning behind it is simple – who is better equipped to evaluate a teacher’s ability to pass on knowledge than a student?

After decades of research on the use of this assessment method,most researchers agree that student ratings are a valid and reliable way of evaluating teachers. Some even go as far as claiming that student evaluations are the only indicator of teaching effectiveness. In order to get the most out of a teacher evaluation form, you should craft the questions carefully. Try something like this!

Click here to see an example of a teacher evaluation form!

If you want your teacher evaluation form to look thorough and engaging like this one, avoid some of the common pitfalls of these questionnaires. 

It doesn't matter whether you use your teacher evaluation form for your workplace instructor or university professor - here you'll find sound advice that applies to any learning environment.

Common Mistakes

Let's start with the things you should avoid if you want your teacher evaluation form to be a useful source of information that will add substance to your course development.

1. General Questions

The most common mistake with a teacher evaluation form is that the questions are too general or focus on all the wrong things. Avoid the following errors: 

  • asking for comparisons between teachers
  • nudging students towards more or less favorable comments about a course/teacher/institution
  • asking whether the student would recommend the course, at least in the cases when the class is mandatory
  • questions that could be used to discriminate against the respondents

2. Technical Errors

Even the most enthusiastic student will lose their motivation if the questions don't seem to come to an end. If the form needs to be more detailed, try to chop it into "digestible" sections - here is the look into our teacher evaluation form in drag&drop content builder. We separated each 2-4 questions into sections analyzing teachers' performance, interaction with the students, overall quality of the course and students' suggestions.

We separated these segments with break pages.

Lengthy questionnaires are more likely to be filled in haste or push the students towards skipping questions and lengthy descriptions. Paired up with limited time for completing the form, lengthy surveys also may contribute to a low return rate.

3. Emotional Appeals

A surprisingly common pitfall that dooms objective evaluation is allowing the teacher to distribute the forms to the students. This situation may be used for a more or less open plea for a favorable review. According to multi-decade research, the presence of the instructor in the classroom during the survey affects the results, usually towards a more favorable outcome.

What Constitutes a Good Teacher Evaluation Form

Now that we got the mistakes out of the way let's focus on things that your teacher evaluation form should include.

1. Assurance that your student's answers will remain confidential

This is the most basic prerequisite for honest, substantive answers - no student is going to be honest if they fear retaliation by the person who is supposed to grade their work and knowledge.

2. Feedback, not rating 

Don't ask your students to make the final judgment on the teacher's skill. After all, this questionnaire is just a part of a larger equation. It is better if you concentrate on finding out whether the teacher followed good practices.

3. Precise instructions about the requests

Be descriptive when you ask questions - don't talk in broad terms.

4. Comments about the course and teaching skill, not the teacher's personality

For example, this question is an effective way to figure out whether the teacher's conduct with the students was fair - without getting too personal.

5. Questions that follow the objectives and standards of the institution

Some questionnaires may include the question of whether the course was stimulating - a natural question in the academic environment. For example, if the course is part of training for the employees, it's important that it doesn't require too much time and work that may keep them away from their daily duties.

Keep in mind that filling out a teacher evaluation form is not, and should not be mandatory. That doesn't mean you should give up on it. One of the ways to encourage the students' feedback is to take into account their opinions and recommendation in a substantive, palpable way.

As we said, students' evaluation is only one of the ways to rate the quality of your lectures. If you want to get a detailed picture of your course's efficiency and quality, you will need a variety of data sources, including traditional classroom observation. 

WithLeadQuizzes 3 monthly plan, you can make an unlimited number of professional, engaging teacher evaluation forms for the students and educational personnel, keeping your course on track of success!

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