Changes to the Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) forms were voted on and approved at a faculty meeting on April 15, including one that would put SEIs online through my.newpaltz.edu.
“Online proposals have been in use for summer courses,” said Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Jerry Persaud. “It’s not something foreign. It’s been used in some courses, including my courses. It is also used intermittently by business faculty.”
The two proposals voted on included improving the new survey instrument, which passed 36 to nine. The second included an action approving SEIs going online, which passed 38 to 12. Both changes will go into effect for fall 2011.
Some students responded favorably to the SEIs going online.
“I am all for the SEIs being in an online format,” said student Sen. Megan Grieco. “It will save the school money, it’s more environmentally friendly by not printing that much paper, it saves time we’ve wasted in class and it’s really easy to fill out online. You’re not sitting there waiting for you’re No. 2 pencil and trying to fill out the bubbles all perfectly.”
Persaud also mentioned that moving to an SEI online format is due in part to a cost saving measure. At a senate meeting on April 5, student Sen. Ayanna Thomas, said that by moving the SEIs it could save New Paltz $30,000.
According to Persaud, the summer school sessions, other departments at New Paltz and other SUNYs are using the online SEI format already. He also said it’s “the age we live in” with the banner system pushing everything online, but he wanted to make it clear that the committee responded to the change, but that it’s not where it originated.
Persaud also said that although the business school already “intermittenly” utilizes online SEIs, they are in no way saying that this is how things should be done. Professors still have the option, if they so choose, to implement this format.
There will also be “some kind of mechanism” put into place that will tell students to fill out their SEIs before they can access their grades, according to Persaud. This will be time sensitive up to 48 hours, and in that time no one can “hijack” a student’s grades. The idea, said Persaud, is to “protect” students against professor’s seeing the SEIs before students get their grades. That system will remain in place.
The idea to improve and incorporate the SEIs online first came to faculty in a memo by Presiding Officer of Faculty Governance and Professor of Economics Simin Mozayeni. This memo advised faculty to look closer at this issue.