The following is an update on the WSU’s current expectations with regards to Course Evaluations from the Spring 2020 semester. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.


Many faculty have expressed concerns how the sudden transition to online teaching will affect their performance reviews, including both annual reviews and progress toward promotion and/or tenure. We want to assure faculty that college administration is keenly aware of the numerous factors that made teaching more difficult, both in the transition to online and through the rest of the semester. Even in the best of circumstances, student evaluations often take a dip when faculty try new approaches to teaching. Those dips are likely to be magnified this semester. We recognize that and want to support faculty, who have struggled to provide a high-quality education to students in this new environment.

Blue course evaluations will be administered as usual this semester. There will be no change to their form, content, or report distribution. However, they are not intended to be used for annual review in 2020 or for evaluation of promotion and tenure materials. Deans and chairs may review them for formative purposes having to do with pedagogical standards or curricular excellence and to identify any significant problems that might need to be addressed.

Faculty will have the opportunity in Activity Insight to describe COVID-related changes, additional work, difficulties, and successes in course preparation and delivery. Faculty may also opt to include course evaluation data from this semester if they wish to, in their annual review or in tenure/promotion documents.

In addition, two separate surveys will go out at the end of the semester, one to faculty and one to students, about their experience of the sudden transition to online teaching and learning. The purpose of the faculty survey is to provide information to AOI, the provost’s office, deans, and elsewhere for organizational development—refining and/or expanding capacity to support faculty teaching in this mode.

The purpose of the student survey is to provide actionable information to faculty, outside the context of course evaluations, about the transition to the second half of the semester—what worked, what didn’t—so they can refine summer and perhaps fall courses, or incorporate new methods into face-to-face teaching. A secondary goal is as above for the faculty survey—to help administrative units plan for support and capacity.

Dean Mary Rezac's signature
Mary Rezac (she/her/hers)
Dean, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Washington State University
Phone: 509-335-5593
Twitter: @VCEA_Dean