It is time for the annual struggle.
Students will spend the next few weeks poring over MacInsiders.com and the MSU Course Wiki to prepare for course selection. The information on those platforms is either dated or not yet complete.
This could be remedied by changes to the McMaster course review policy, which governs what can and cannot be shared from the course evaluations we fill out. The “Policy on the Public Release of Students’ Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness” was developed originally in 1997 and revisited in 2013. These ratings are actually partial student ratings, and the public release is not truly public.
The policy only mandates that the first question of the online course reviews be made public to anyone with a student or employee Mac ID. That question: “How would you rate your professor overall?”
But course instructors have the opportunity to approve the release of the results to this question. In theory, if a professor receives poor ratings from their students, they can simply decline to share.
Even the McMaster Association of Part-time Students circa the mid-2000s is blushing at the lack of accountability there.
There are professors who make the information available, and they deserve a shout out. But in the fall, I’ll be a graduate of the Communications program. There are course reviews for a total of four Communications classes since 2012. What’s the deal? What are we hiding?
This practice would never apply to students, and I cannot imagine a workplace outside of professional golf that gives you this kind of mulligan. We cannot erase our past because it will hurt our reputation, and professors should not be able to either.
But hey, if Mac wants to start giving students the same treatment, I’ve got a D- in Russian History that I would love to see disappear.