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CEG Comments Should Be Reasonable

CEG Comments Should Be Reasonable

The Tech received a copy of this letter addressed to the MIT undergraduate community:

Since it is near the end of the semester, many of you will be filling out the course evaluations in your classes. As an instructor in a course that has been evaluated for the past several years, I would like to bring something to your attention.

When I was a student here (SB Biology '85), I figured that nobody cared what I wrote on the course evaluation forms. I assumed that they were digested by the CEG and ignored by the teaching staff. As a result, I vented a lot of frustration in them. It is cosmic justice that I am now on the receiving end of these comments as an instructor in 7.01. It came as a big shock to realize that every member of the teaching staff here actually reads and carefully considers what the students say in the course evaluations.

Although I would like to receive unanimous praise for my teaching, I can certainly use some constructive criticism; otherwise, how can I improve? Therefore, I have no objection to quotes like "Brian was completely disorganized and unprepared"; that is something I can fix, if I put my mind to it. However, comments like "X should take a drug test," "Y should use some of her natural beauty to improve her teaching," or "Z is senile" are needlessly cruel and go beyond the bounds of basic human decency.

I do not mean to suggest that you should limit your comments to "sweetness and light." I only ask you to remember that your comments will be read and considered by human beings much like yourselves.

Brian T. White '85

Technical Instructor, Biology Department