Evergreen is a unique college utilizing a narrative system to assess student learning and achievement. Through the evaluation process, both students and faculty learn from their work within a particular program and have the opportunity to understand more about their work as a whole and to recognize connections and common themes within a program.
This information does not act as a substitute for a visit with one of our writing tutors. It is provided as a starting point for your work. We strongly recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our writing tutors for more tailored, one-on-one conversations about your evaluations.
As of fall 2013, the only document required for incoming students to include in their final transcripts is the Academic Statement. This statement of no more than 750 words provides readers of your transcript a summary or digest of your education as a whole. Self-evaluations, which document your learning your specific learning experiences, are not required for your final transcript, but they are required at the end of every program. Faculty are required to include your self-evaluations in their professional portfolios. Often, faculty want to read your self-evaluations before they write their evaluations of your work. You may choose to include any of your self-evaluations in your official college transcript; it's up to you, whereas you are required to include an Academic Statement in your final transcript before you receive your diploma. See our handout [PDF] for more information.
Your self-evaluations play a crucial role in your education at Evergreen. They capture the heart of your learning and they contribute to your efforts to complete an excellent Academic Statement. They focus on specific learning experiences - in programs, courses, internships, and individual learning contracts - and document the content and significance of particular academic achievements. They become the building blocks for your Academic Statement, which you will craft throughout your education at Evergreen, and they can deeply inform the final Academic Statement which you will submit to your transcript before you graduate. If you choose to include any of your self-evaluations in your official college transcript, they too can provide insight about specific learning experiences which you’d like to highlight for outside audiences.
Self-evaluations serve as check-in points for your educational story. In them you record your accomplishments at the end of each quarter. Certainly, your goals as a student change periodically, or even often; an evaluation reflects your thinking when you’ve completed one set of studies and are preparing for another. When you have developed a collection of self-evaluations over several quarters or years, you’ll be able to see changes in your thinking over time - changes that can be difficult to see without creating this kind of careful and deliberate documentation.
Stage I: Brainstorming/Self-Reflection
At first, don't worry at all about what your final evaluation is going to look like. Chances are that, throughout your studies, you've learned enough that it's hard to separate out the important parts from the parts that didn't affect your learning at all. To help sort that out, sit down and just write for a minimum of thirty minutes about your studies, your experiences, what you learned, what you think could have gone better, or any other information about your academic progress during this quarter that you think may be useful later on.
While writing, do not concern yourself with mechanical issues. Stream of consciousness writing will produce a draft only for your own use. Nobody else has to see this unless you choose to share it.
Our handout from Peter Elbow is an especially helpful guide during this stage of the writing process.
Stage II: Filtering
Now that you have a significant amount of self-reflection and brainstorming down on paper, you can filter through it to pick up key ideas, words, sentences, or concepts that you would like to use or highlight within your self-evaluation. At this point, you are working with an eye towards generating a very rough first draft that will eventually transform into your final self-evaluation for the quarter.
The types of words, sentences, or ideas that you want to pick out are those that uniquely describe or articulate a significant aspect of your own learning or evolution. Remember: the purpose of a self-evaluation is to document the significant learning that took place during the quarter.
Stage III: Revision
Revising is a stage that can be as long or as short as it needs to be. It encompasses your second draft through your final self-evaluation and includes the next stage. Revising may take the form of visiting a writing tutor for review, reading aloud to yourself to catch errors or ideas that need expansion, giving your self-evaluation to someone else so who can offer suggestions or comments, or strengthening key ideas and phrases. Faculty members are usually all too happy to review your drafts and make comments.
Your aim with each successive draft should be to make incremental improvements towards a final document that expresses your achievements and strengths during the quarter.
Stage IV: Evaluation
In the final stage, you need to evaluate what you've written in order to ensure that it is a document that can help you to reflect on your education in the future, and that you might want to include in your transcript if you so choose. Some things to think about include:
- What is the driving idea behind the evaluation?
- Does the evaluation cover or mention all that you feel that it should?
- Are there any unnecessary details?
- Does the introduction appropriately introduce and frame the rest of the evaluation?
- Is the paragraph structure clear and concise?
- Is the conclusion sufficient?
- Do you show and not tell? Is the evidence or description convincing and vivid? Do you detail the value of your learning?
- Is the evaluation interesting to read? Does the voice sound natural?
- What attitudes and qualities do you display within the evaluation? Are these consistent with what you wish to portray?
- Are there any places where sentence fluency and word choices could be improved?
- If you plan to include the evaluation in your final transcript, is it appropriate for its potential audience, such as a graduate school or future employer?
The questions above are the same questions that our writing tutors use to assess an evaluation draft.
Stage V: Final Check
As with any thesis-based paper, transcript-ready self-evaluations must meet certain standards. The checklist below will help you finalize your evaluation so that it shines.
- Final evaluations must be entered into the on-line record system on you’re my.evergreen.edu. You’ll need to give a final printed version of your self-evaluation to your faculty. All faculty are required to include student-self-evaluations in their professional portfolios.
- Know the title of your program, course, or contract. The title on your evaluation must be complete and exact, so check the Academic Catalog or program syllabi if you’re unsure.
- Don't include course equivalencies in your self-evaluation. The document should describe your achievement, not the specific type of credit you earned.
- For transcript-ready self-evaluations, aim for length of one page per quarter. Save your dissertation for graduate school. If you’re having trouble with length, the Writing Center or Career Development can help you pare down your self-evaluation.
- Don't repeat the text of the program description or contract. This information will be included in your transcript. Adding the text to your self-evaluation will be redundant.
- Check spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and all other technical aspects of your evaluation.
Submit an electronic copy of your final self-evaluation to the on-line record system in your my.evergreen.edu.
Handout: Writing Faculty Evaluations [PDF]
You are required to give your faculty an evaluation of her or his work at your evaluation conference at the end of each quarter. Bring the evaluation in hard copy. Faculty are required to include student evaluations of their work in their professional portfolios. In the faculty evaluation, you should mention those things which have been important to the educational exchange which has occurred between you and the faculty member. The following general evaluation items may help to focus your thoughts. Don't write a list of answers to these questions. Rather, write an essay by reflecting on your work with the teacher. Remember, specific examples are worth more than generalizations; constructive criticism is more valuable than praise.
Possible Questions to Address in Student Evaluations of Faculty
- How well did the faculty member meet commitments in the following areas?
- Teaching activity directly involving students
- Academic advising of students
- Maintenance of student records
- Academic planning of the program
- Did the faculty member exercise good and fair standards in the awarding of credit to students?
- What evidence did the faculty member show of ability to do the following kinds of work?
- Ability to organize a lecture, seminar discussion, reading list, field trip effort, depending on assignment
- Ability to distinguish and emphasize important concepts for students to grasp, remember
- Ability to formulate clear, useful assignments of reasonable (but challenging!) length and difficulty
- Ability to evaluate students' work fairly--without undue harshness or softness
- Ability to adjust to students' level of comprehension, providing explanations at a level which is understandable to the student
- Ability to communicate enthusiasm and interest for subject matter
- Ability to promote serious and interesting discussion; skill at asking "open-ended" or "divergent" questions; skill at encouraging students to ask questions and initiate discussion
- Ability to tolerate points of view different from his/her own, to encourage independent thinking on the part of students, and to get students to be open to the views of others
- Efficiency in giving students prompt feedback on their work
- Accessibility to students who need academic help
- How well did the faculty member adapt to the team situation? Did he or she handle with authority relations between students and faculty and between faculty and faculty without difficulty? How easily does he or she come to understand the point of view of others? Is the faculty member willing to discuss ideas and functional matters without excessive personal prejudice intervening?
- How able does the faculty member appear to be in handling instruction in his/her principal area of expertise? That is, does he or she have a good grasp of the field?
- Is the faculty member capable of planning and carrying through the coordination of a program? (This is especially applicable to persons teaching in or beyond their third year at Evergreen.)
- Add additional items particular to your program.