Students of Presidency University will assess their teachers and their course content on a scale of five as part of an anonymous appraisal system that is fast becoming the norm in top-notch institutes.
The parameters for the UGC-recommended system were finalised at a meeting of the Presidency council on Monday. Student assessments will be introduced in the new academic session, starting August 2014.
“The parameters for students’ assessment of lecturers, professors and course material have been approved in principle,” vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar told Metro.
There are seven parameters for assessing teachers, including questions like “Could you clearly hear the lecturer?” and “Did the lecturer encourage analytical or logical thinking beyond the presented material?”
The response to each question will be on a scale of five — A denoting “very well”, B “good”, C “satisfactory” and so on.
The course material will be assessed on the basis of 10 parameters such as “Was the course interesting?” and “How much did you learn from this course?”
University officials said based on the model approved on Monday, they would have separate assessment parameters for science and arts. “We will soon meet the department heads to fine-tune the scales. There could be variations from one department to another,” a university official said.
The questions will be on a feedback form containing no personal information other than the name of the course and the teacher.
“If a teacher consistently gets poor grades, the feedback will be minutely assessed and, if need be, the university will talk to him or her,” the official said.
Jadavpur University was the first in Bengal to finalise parameters for assessment of teachers by students. Calcutta University has yet to do so.
The Mamata Banerjee government has stressed the need for feedback from students about the quality of teaching since it assumed office in May 2011.
The Presidency council also approved the university statute at Monday’s meeting. Harvard University professor Sugata Bose, who heads the Presidency mentor group, said the statute had been sent to the education department for approval.
Bose later met education minister Bratya Basu to discuss the procedure for the selection of a full-time vice-chancellor.
Minister Basu said interim vice-chancellor Sarkar’s successor would be named before her tenure ends on February 15.
Bose is the government nominee to the three-member search committee that will select a full-time vice-chancellor.
University sources said the council had decided that a member of the mentor group would be the governing board’s nominee.
The chancellor’s nominee — also a member of the mentor group — would be the chairperson of the search committee.
The new-found primacy of the mentor group in the matter of selecting the vice-chancellor is in contrast to what had happened in July.
On that occasion, the mentor group was in the dark about who would be appointed Sarkar’s successor as interim vice-chancellor.
The state government had then constituted a three-member selection panel led by the erstwhile chairman of the state higher education council, Sugata Marjit, and announced that Sarkar’s successor would be appointed before she turned 65 on August 15. A prod from governor and chancellor M.K. Narayanan led the government to extend her tenure.
- Was the teacher enthusiastic about the subject?
- Did the teacher encourage questions in class?
- If so, were the teacher’s responses to questions useful?
- Was the course interesting?
- How difficult did you find the material covered in the course?
- How helpful are the recommended books?