August 21, 2019

Sessional instructors can now be included in online course evaluations

By Centre for Educational Excellence staff

Approximately half of SFU's academic departments and schools use the university's online course evaluation system. It has now been expanded to cover sessional instructors.

Starting in Fall 2019, academic departments and schools that use SFU’s online Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETC) system will have the option of including sessional instructors in the end-of-term evaluation process on a course-by-course basis. Previously, the system could be used only for faculty members.

It should be noted, however, that for the time being the evaluation forms used for sessional instructors, who belong to the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU), will differ from those used for faculty members, who belong to the SFU Faculty Association (SFUFA):

  • Evaluation forms for SFUFA members include four levels of questions: instructor-selected/created, department/school-level, Faculty-level, and university-wide.
  • Evaluation forms for TSSU members will include only instructor-selected/created questions and university-wide questions.

The reason for this difference is that the TSSU has reviewed the university-level questions, but has not yet been consulted about the Faculty and department/school questions. The Learning Experiences Assessment & Planning (LEAP) division within the Centre for Educational Excellence is working with the TSSU to make the online evaluation forms for sessional instructors consistent with the forms used for SFUFA members.

Academic units still have the option of using paper-and-pen evaluation forms for sessional instructors if they wish. Those that prefer this option can indicate their choice by using the SETC EDITS module in SIMS.  This module allows units to indicate on a course-by-course basis whether they plan to use the online system to conduct the end-of-term teaching and course evaluations.

For more information, contact Kiran Bisra at kiran.bisra@sfu.ca.

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