UW School of Law > Students > Academic Policies > Course Evaluations

Course Evaluations

Students in every course, clinic or seminar, regardless of enrollment and regardless of whether they are taught by a full-time or part-time faculty member, must be given the opportunity to evaluate the course using the law school’s course evaluation system.

Results of course evaluations may be released to a faculty member as soon as the faculty member has turned in grades for every exam/paper that was provided to the faculty member by Academic Services, and those grades have been posted.

When administered, course evaluations will contain the following instructions:

"Your careful and candid evaluation is important. The numerical portions of the evaluations are given to the administration and made available in the Law Library and/or Academic Services, while your written comments will be given to the instructor, who may choose whether and how to disclose them. Instructors use the numerical evaluations and comments as feedback to help improve teaching. Students may use numerical evaluations when choosing courses. The numerical evaluations, and often the written comments, are used in faculty evaluation and promotion decisions. Your instructor will not see any part of the evaluation results until after grades for the course are turned in."

The evaluation forms shall contain the following questions:

  1. The course has been intellectually stimulating and challenging.
  2. The instructor was effective in encouraging critical analysis of the material.
  3. The instructor displayed mastery of the subject matter.
  4. The instructor was reasonably accessible out of class.
  5. The class sessions have been well organized and clear.
  6. The instructor shows respect for students.
  7. The readings have been useful and well-integrated into lectures/discussions.
  8. Overall, the instructor taught this course effectively.
  9. The workload was appropriate to the course. If not, was the workload: (a) too light? (b) too heavy?

In addition, the evaluation forms will contain an open-ended question that invites students to comment on what they believe are the most valuable and least valuable features of the course and the ways, if any, that they believe the course might be improved.

Although the results of the numerical evaluations will be made available to the Dean and by placing copies in the Law Library and/or Academic Services, the answers to the open-ended question are made available only to the faculty member for his or her confidential use and benefit.

Effective Summer 2009, all course evaluations will be conducted in a paperless, on-line electronic format. Faculty assistants will conduct the evaluation for a 10- to 15-minute period during a class session held during the last week of classes. During that period, students who have laptop computers may complete the evaluation forms on-line. After that session, students who were not present or do not have laptop computers will have 3 business days to complete the course evaluations on-line at a location of their choosing by following an email link that will be sent to them. The window for completing the course evaluations will always close before the date of the scheduled exam for the course.

Source: Faculty Resolutions dated February 1, 1971, January 5, 1974, November 18, 1980, November 7, 2002, and May 4, 2006.

Last updated 4/26/2012