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USG Moves Forward with SEI Improvements

USG is continuing its work to make SEI results more transparent. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

The questions included in Ohio State’s Student Evaluations of Instruction, more commonly known as SEIs, have not been updated in 30 years, according to an Undergraduate Student Government resolution.

The student group is working to change that.

USG’s Academic Affairs Committee moved forward in January with creating a list of 30-45 questions to propose to university’s Registrar’s Office, the University Senate SEI Committee and other administrative offices that have a say on the instructor reviews.

The effort is part of two resolutions that USG passed in November.

One resolution focused on revising and reviewing the current questions and the other focused on USG’s support to increase transparency of SEI results under a new database system called “Blue,” which is set to be rolled out this semester, according to the resolutions.

The previous system, “PeopleSoft,” only displayed the overall rating of the professor and class for students to see, not including individual results from the SEI questionnaire. The results are available for students to view on BuckeyeLink, but USG plans to make it accessible for students before they sign up for courses.

Additionally, USG wants to establish a summary statistic for the three main question categories — organization, interest in students and preparation — for students to access.

A subcommittee led by Deputy Director of Academic Affairs Molly McCann, a second-year in psychology, is narrowing down 15 questions from its initial list to propose to the administration for the new SEIs. The questions will come from three main categories.

When brainstorming potential questions, the group used other Big Ten schools, such as the University of Illinois, as part of its research. McCann said all universities in the conference have some version of student evaluations.

The group also might propose questions for the students.

“We were saying you should also have to rate yourself,” McCann said. “If you never go to class, that’s probably why you don’t like the teacher.”

Kate Greer, a second-year in German and history who serves as USG’s director of academic affairs, said she is meeting next week with the Registrar’s Office and Undergraduate Education to discuss further developments with the SEIs improvements.

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