The Student Consultants On Teaching (SCOT) program is making waves at this university through its service to professors and students alike.
The program is an option for professors, who can receive valuable feedback from a student’s perspective.
SCOTs take the traditional student rating system a few steps further. Students are trained in methods of properly observing and evaluating professors, their syllabi and their teaching styles. SCOTs also interview students in specified classes and discuss with the professors what is working and what areas may need to be modified.
Jason Lewis, SCOT coordinator, has witnessed firsthand how effective this service is.
“We have several professors that have been struggling and were getting horrible student ratings. We go in and turn that around, and they become top professors,” Lewis said.
The program is completely confidential. The evaluation is kept between the coordinator, the professor and the assigned SCOT. The program is also voluntary, so professors will need to request the SCOT program’s services.
With many departments already excited about the program, it is anticipated that every professor will have the opportunity to use the service.
Although at least eight other universities have adopted this program, this school’s program is unique. Here, SCOTs are paid for their time and given more extensive training, making the program a top model for other educational institutions. Coordinators have and will continue to present on the effectiveness of the program at conferences both nationally and internationally.
“It’s an asset to the university, to students, to the professors. Everyone seems to approve [of] the program,” Lewis said.
With the help of the SCOT program, this university is finding new ways for professors and students to reach a greater understanding of each other.