Faculty to assess student effort


    Faculty members’ opinions about academics will be weighed against what students think about their college experience to know how challenging classes are, administrators said.

    All faculty members will be asked to participate in a Web-based version of a national survey that measures what teachers expect from students in class among other things, said Melissa Canady, director of assessment.

    Beginning this week, the assessment department, which evaluates the effectiveness of academic programs, will send an e-mail to approximately 670 faculty members asking them to respond to the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement, Canady said.
    Angela Taylor, associate dean of student development, said the FSSE results will be compared to the information received from the ongoing College Report, a survey for freshmen and seniors that began Feb. 26.

    For instance, Taylor said if faculty members respond that students have worked harder than usual to pass a class and students respond they never worked hard, that difference lets faculty know that changes could be made.

    “It lets faculty know that standards or expectations could be increased to challenge students more,” Taylor said. “Or the faculty expectation could be right on, and that still is great information because it lets faculty know that what they are doing is on target.”

    Brad Lucas, an English professor, said he will participate in the survey as soon as he gets it.

    Peter Worthing, Chinese history professor, said the survey is important because the school needs to know what’s going on in the classrooms.

    Chancellor Victor Boschini said the FSSE is one more tool to analyze TCU.

    “This survey will be another vehicle for us to understand the needs of our faculty,” Boschini said. “It will also help our faculty see how their concerns compare to those of faculty members at schools all across the nation.”

    According to the survey’s Web site, 147 colleges and universities across the country participated in the pilot survey in 2003.

    Canady said this is the first time TCU faculty will participate in the FSSE. The survey costs $1,500.

    All faculty members who participate will enter a drawing for a $250 American Express gift card. Deadline for completing the survey is May 15.