November 10, 2020 - Fall Semester Subject Evaluations

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing on behalf of the Academic Policy and Regulations Team (APART” to inform you of the plan for fall subject evaluations.  This plan was finalized by APART based on an initial form developed by Piero Chacon and Kathleen MacArthur in consultation with Janet Rankin (Director of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory).

For the fall semester, we will use a modified version of the usual subject evaluation form which will consist of the following sections.

(1) Instructor Questions.  Three questions on the quality of teaching using a standard 7-point Likert scale followed by an opportunity for open comments on teaching. These questions are similar to the questions in the pre-Covid evaluation form.

(2) Subject Questions.  Seven questions on aspects of the subject including the overall learning experience using a standard 7-point Likert scale followed by an opportunity for open comments on the subject.  These questions are similar to the questions in the pre-Covid evaluation form.

(3) Additional Aspects of Learning.  This new section contains Likert-based and open-ended questions that allow students to report on other aspects of the class including those introduced to accommodate remote learning under the conditions of the Covid 19 pandemic.

(4) Additional Questions Added at Instructor’s Discretion.  A number of Likert-based and open-ended questions are provided to Instructors that they can choose to include if they wish.  These questions focus on the overall remote subject experience and sense of community.

(5) Context Statement.  The Subject Evaluation Reports page for each subject will display the following “Context Statement” at the top of the page for all subjects evaluated in the Fall 2020 end-of-term window:

  • Due to pandemic-related disruptions in academic year 2020-21, many instructors have had to modify the scope and content of the subject, the means of delivery, the grading and assessment scheme, and other aspects of their subjects. In future versions of the subject many of these modifications may or may not be retained. These evaluation data specifically reflect feedback on a version taught during a disrupted term.

In addition, Instructors will have the option of adding additional context to the above “generic statement”. This gives Instructors the opportunity to express why and how the pandemic may have impacted the content and format of their subject and thus the evaluation data  The Departmental Subject Evaluation Coordinators will be in contact with Instructors to arrange for additional statements.

For more details about the questions in the form for the fall semester, please contact your Department Subject Evaluation Coordinator.

With regard to timetable, the Subject Evaluation Surveys for the fall semester will open on November 30 at 9 AM and will close on December 14 at 9 AM.  

Please note:  Departments may wish to share this email with their Teaching Assistants since students will be evaluating TAs in the fall evaluation process.


Rick L. Danheiser
A. C. Cope Professor and
Chair of the MIT Faculty

Note: This message was sent to: all instructors; dept/section heads; undergraduate/graduate officers and administrators; assistant deans; Administrative Officers.

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