The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Faculty committee considers course evaluation alternatives

Photo by Ari Ismail for The Lafayette
One of the alternatives for course evaluation access is a syllabus repository.

Following the removal of student access to course evaluation results, the Faculty Student Affairs Committee has been tasked with proposing alternatives for students to access course information prior to registration.

The committee – composed of professors and selected students – takes a detailed look into issues affecting the student body.

A potential alternative being considered is the creation of a searchable syllabus repository. A database of class syllabi would be available to students as an opportunity to learn about key aspects of their prospective courses such as required texts, covered subjects and grading policies before they enroll.

While some students would appreciate getting to view syllabi in advance, they are not sure that it would take the place of course evaluations.

“With the syllabi, you get a look ahead at the class and the structure of the class,” Mark Tillinghast ‘26 said. “[But] it doesn’t really help in understanding the quality of the professor.”

One of the possible complications for the formation syllabus repository is that syllabi are considered the intellectual property of professors, according to Section E of the Lafayette College Faculty Handbook. This was mentioned by Tyler Osipower ‘24 and Charles Mann ‘25, student representatives on the committee, in a presentation on their work to the Student Government during its Nov. 30 meeting.

Osipower emphasized that the committee is hoping to draft a resolution of this syllabus repository in the near future.

“When we draft a motion for something that is going to substitute in as an alternative for course evaluations, most [motions] are approved by our committee,” Osipower said. “It will move to the general faculty body where they will vote on that. We expect that any motion will be well received.”

He said that the goal is to produce an alternative by spring 2024 for fall 2024 course registration.

“[The] subcommittee wants to have more conversations with Student Government, faculty, IT, and others before bringing a motion forward,” Megan Rothenberger, associate professor of biology and the chair of the committee, wrote in an email.

Osipower hopes that the potential new changes give students the confidence to make the best possible class decisions by registration morning.

Many faculty members, according to Osipower, believe that there should be a viable alternative offered to students. It is unknown how many faculty members specifically support this syllabus repository.

“It’s hard to quantify [the support] before we take it to the general faculty with a motion,” Osipower said. 

Andrew LaGreca ’26 contributed reporting.

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About the Contributors
Andreas Pelekis, Assistant News Editor
Tennis addict.
Selma O'Malley, News Editor
Waiting for someone to write a sitcom about a college newspaper.
Ari Ismail, Staff Photographer

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