At UCR, assessments of TA instructors are based on student evaluations submitted just prior to the end of the academic term.
These assessments help departments to determine future TA placements and help Graduate Division to identify TAs who could benefit from additional pedagogical support. They also form an important part of your professional portfolio as an educator.
Because of this, it is important that the courses you are TAing are listed accurately in the online iEval system that undergraduates use to evaluate their TAs. You will receive an email from GradSuccess Director Hillary Jenks around Week 7 asking you to log into iEval and check that your courses are displaying correctly. PLEASE DO THIS IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIVING THE EMAIL!! If you procrastinate, it is possible that ITS will be unable to make the necessary corrections before the evaluation period closes. If that happens, you may not receive any feedback on your teaching for that quarter.
Bias in Student Evaluations
While feedback is an important and necessary part of improving as an instructor, the existence of implicit and even outright bias in student evaluations is a serious issue. Please review your evaluations as soon as they are available; if you find any statements that do not substantively address your teaching, but instead are hateful or discriminatory on the basis of attributes such as gender, sexual or gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability, please contact GradSuccess Director Hillary Jenks immediately. A Graduate Division committee will review the evaluation and make a determination on appropriate follow-up action.
Studies have also shown that if you talk to your students in advance about issues of bias in evaluations, it impacts how they approach the evaluation process. Here are some resources you might use in having such a conversation:
- McGill University short video on implicit bias in course evaluations
- Guidelines for providing constructive feedback
- UC Merced rubric and video for students on how to provide fair and useful feedback
UCR undergraduate and graduate students, TAs, faculty, and staff are expected to follow university codes of conduct and maintain a responsible, respectful, and safe campus community.
Here are some tips from UCR TAs on how to improve your evaluations:
- Tips for Improving Your Student Evaluations
- How to Earn Good Teaching Evaluations