Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The dreaded SIR evaluations

Now is the time for the SIR evaluations, also know as the Student Instructional Report. Every student and faculty member is familiar with these end of the semester professor evaluations. Some may believe they are a burden, but truly they are important in the fate of your professor.

I spoke with Michael O'Donnell, Director if Institutional Research and Assessment, to learn a little bit more about the importance of these evaluations. He informed me that the SIR is a "standard measure of teaching, which is done at every university. This particular assessment has been in place at Dominican for about 15-20 years."

The evaluations are sent out to a company in New Jersey who calculates and sends reports back broken down by instructor, department and the university as a whole.

O'Donnell said these are a staring point in observing problems. "Every teacher has a bad class, so we must be very careful when evaluating." He also mentioned that these reports are important for first year teachers, as it is a first impression.

These evaluations are a good opportunity for students to voice their opinions about their professors, but I would urge students not to just mindlessly fill out the evaluations because they can have an effect on your professors job.


  1. I don't know why, but I'm always the last one done filling out the evaluations. Maybe I'm the only one who cares.

  2. What exactly is this effect on the professor's job ? Will they be fired ? No. Will they suffer from it ? No. Please expemplify

  3. As stated above, the SIR is a starting point. If a bad review is found on these reports then further investigation on the professor will be done. So, these evaluations will not have immediate results of firing a professors, but can be a factor in a termination.

    So, YES, they can have a possibility of being fired or suffering from a bad report, just not immediately because other factors must go into termination.

  4. Also, I don't think Dominican would use the money on these reports if they were not effective at all.