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Davis, California

Monday, September 27, 2021

Editorial: Changes welcome

A new online course evaluation tool is currently being developed for use starting next fall. UC Davis is the one of the last UC campuses to implement online course evaluations for undergraduate courses.

It is about time the University made plans to implement online evaluations, especially when nearly every other UC has done this, as well as some of the graduate programs on campus.

The current system of paper course evaluations is inefficient for a number of reasons. It is detrimental to the environment because it wastes paper. It’s also a waste of time — professors and teaching assistants are not able to see the results of the evaluations for up to six months after they are completed. This is problematic. Without feedback, professors and teaching assistants are unaware of how they can improve their teaching.

However, steps will have to be taken to encourage all students to fill out the evaluations because they will not be pressured to do it in the classroom. UC Riverside and Stanford give students incentives for completing the forms, such as making grades available to students sooner. This is one idea that UC Davis can implement to motivate students to complete the evaluations.

The program is aimed to be compatible with the new UC Davis student portal, which will combine SISweb, MyUCDavis, Smartsite and Class Search Tool. Students will be able to access it starting Fall 2013 and will use it for Winter 2014 registration. A new portal is needed to fix the issues with the current system. Having multiple sign-ons to access each website can be confusing and inefficient.

These changes are welcomed and we feel they will better serve the UC Davis community.

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