Importance of Teachers Day And Online Teachers’ Evaluation System
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Online Teachers’ Evaluation System:
In the Case of Bule Hora University
BARMURA YIBGETA SIFIR1, ALIYI HUSSEIN NURE2
1MSc, Department of Information Technology, Bule Hora University, Ethiopia
2BSc, Department of Information Technology, Bule Hora University, Ethiopia
Well-timed and precise facts about teaching performance are essential for academicians and administrators of academic institutions. However, the manual process of teachers’ performance evaluation makes it impossible for academic chairpersons and frontrunners to make appropriate and timely judgments. Information technology has delivered new opportunities for educational institutions to be more reactive to the information requirements of administrators, employees, students and other participants.
This paper refers an initiatives commenced by Bule Hora University (BHU) in the use of information technology to implement an online teachers’ performance evaluation system. The problems upraised and the lessons learned in using a manual teaching performance evaluation system are obviously difficult and comprehensive. The problems of paper based teachers’ performance evaluation system were resolved and lots of profits were derived in using an online teachers’ performance evaluation system in this research.
Keywords: Information Technology, Online Teachers’ Evaluation System, Staff Development Program
As a governmental institution of higher learning, Bule Hora University (BHU) is dedicated to providing quality service to its more than 12,000 students, and about 2000 academic and administrative employees. However the complication of handling the processes, the university demands knowledgeable academic administrators. The serious need for quality, on time and significant information for the provision of decision-making process continues to pose a great challenge to many academic managers. Understanding the significance of using information technology to support the critical and essential administrative business functions, the university started the automation projects in 2008s, like university registrar system, library catalogue system. The use of information technology has become a fundamental part of the university’s business processes.
2. TEACHERS’ EVALUATION SYSTEM
It is known that teachers are the vital human resource of any academic institution in the transfer of quality education to the students and they are often thought accountable for their students’ learning, within the restrictions of the students’ capabilities, time and resources availability. Teachers’ performance evaluation is an essential step in making sure for good and quality education. By tradition, teachers’ performance evaluation is used as an instrument to apprise teachers on how they are doing their profession. Performance is defined as a set of outcomes produced during a certain period of time, and does not refer to the traits, personal characteristics or competencies of the performer and evaluating the performance is designed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the performer . Teacher evaluation is widely understood to be the most effective tool to improve the quality of education in universities . Timely and accurate information is useful in virtually at every stage of the decision-making process. Problems are identified when information reveals that some aspect of performance is less than desirable. The sooner accurate and useful performance evaluation result can be placed in the hands of decision-makers; the sooner problems can be corrected, lessening the potentially undesirable or costly consequences to the organization .
3. TEACHERS’ EVALUATION @ BHU
BHU considers that teachers’ performance evaluation is a crucial teachers’ performance enhancement tool in the provision of worthy education to the students of the university. Student teachers’ evaluation in BHU is paper-based and has been conducted on the final Examination day of the course which is handled by the respective staff member of the department and students’ teacher evaluation process is observed before 5 minutes to the start of the examination. There are criterions which are used as instruments for the evaluation of teaching performance of the academic staffs by students. These criterions are 29 in numbers and developed in 2(two) languages (i.e. in English and Amharic) by the Minister of Education (MoE) of Ethiopia with the active involvement of management and officers of the Universities. Teachers’ evaluation has been done for 100% for each academic staff and registered as a single semester evaluation result. The weight given for students’ teacher evaluation is 50% whereas 15% is given for peer evaluation and 35% is given by the immediate boss of the staff. The result of the Evaluation is considered as a critical element in determining whether or not staff members are engaged to their profession and their relationship with their students; and the university management is using the evaluation result for different academic decisions such as academic tenure, for promotion, for positional competitions and for further study opportunities of the academic staff.
4. PROBLEMS ON PAPER-BASED TEACHERS’ EVALUATION
Bule Hora University started to implement paper-based teachers’ performance evaluation in 2004E.C, as the university starts its function. Using this method significant administrative energy was required for data collection, analysis, documenting and distribution of results to different academic managers and teachers in a timely manner. The following problems were come across in applying the paper-based teachers’ performance evaluation:
It is time taking. This included the printing, arranging, and organizing of evaluation materials, assigning committees for the duplication of the material, to control the evaluation schedule and the students during evaluation. During this stage, data conflict, redundancy and data loss were a common concern since the evaluation papers of all staffs of a department is stored in the same place in head unit office.
In some Departments not all students are able to evaluate their teachers, only some sampling size of the total class size is participating in teacher evaluation to save the processing time of the committee during the administration of evaluation.
The randomly selected students would be hesitant to take part in the paper-based teachers’ performance evaluation since staff members might simply identify them and would revenge the students by giving low grades if they gave him/her low evaluation.
Since the Evaluation Committee have no sufficient time to process (calculate) the staffs evaluation, to encode the score, to print out and finally to distribute the result to different concerning offices, the semester would be over and next semester will be already started, due to this the staff could not take a correction and the academic managers were not able to consider and use the results of the teachers’ performance evaluation in making academic decisions.
The paper-based teachers’ evaluation system is difficult, wasteful, and very costly. The cost for paper, duplication (printing) the evaluation form, wastage of time during evaluation by students, wastage of time of the evaluation committees starting from duplication of the form to processing of the evaluation result.
The accurateness and reliability of the evaluation result is highly doubtful because of the probability of errors while processing (calculating) the evaluation papers and during encoding of the result to the computer for printing the report.
The report of evaluation result which could be generated by the paper-based evaluation system is restricted and could not be found, retrieved, disseminated or shared to the intended offices and the staffs might not get back their evaluation result after some semesters when they need it.
Privacy of data was not preserved since many staffs are involved in the conduct, process and encoding of evaluation, and generation of reports.
5. PROPOSED SYSTEM
5.1. ONLINE TEACHERS’ EVALUATION SYSTEM
Information technology has delivered new prospects for educational institutes to be more reactive to the information desires of managers, staffs, students and other participants. Nevertheless, most educational institutions are only scratching the surface of technological possibilities to improve administration . To address the weaknesses of paper-based evaluation, we have initiated to develop, maintain and implement the BHU Online – Teachers’ Performance Evaluation System starting the first semester of Academic year 2010E.C.
The system that we have developed is a web-based application which is intended to assist Bule Hora University teachers’ evaluation through the University’s intranet. Our system was developed using the Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) programming language, MySQL database, Internet Information Services (IIS) web server, and access using all types of Browsers of higher versions.
Figure 1, the flow of Teachers’ Evaluation System process
Only authorized students and teachers/heads/deans/chairpersons can access the system with the use of student’s identification number, name of department which the student belongs to, username given by the university ICT office and individual password. The evaluation is conducted in academic laboratories before final examination while the teacher is out of the evaluation room, and the teachers will get the result of the evaluation only after the semester has ended.
5.2. ADVANTAGES OF THE ONLINE TES
The application of an Online Teachers’ Evaluation System provides a number of benefits:
Since Online TES forms are extracted from the Central Database System, preparation of the Evaluation material is eliminated, shorter processing time, and reduced manpower necessities for the administration of evaluation system.
Duplication of evaluation forms are avoided, as well as the tiresome process of gathering and sorting of the evaluation forms of the staffs.
Since Students, Peers and Deans / Chairpersons could directly encode the ratings for evaluation in the system, accurateness and privacy of evaluation data is preserved.
The Online system offers the students with the freedom of conveying their gratitude and acknowledgment of their good teachers and a means to send their sentiments and concerns about their non-performing teachers without the limits of time and space using comment text box of the system.
All students have an opportunity of evaluating all their teachers who took their enrolled courses. The result of the teacher evaluation is based on the opinion of the majority of students and not limited to the sample class size.
List of teachers who are not yet evaluated by students is generated to enable the academic managers to do follow up activities and to encourage students to participate in the evaluation process.
Well-timed and precise reports are generated from the system to allow academic managers to make direct, refined decisions and involvement as needed. The outcomes of students’ teacher performance evaluation are sent to academic managers before the semester is end.
Explicit and complete reports can simply be retrieved, bulky printed out reports are avoided, saving storage space and duplication (printing) cost of the evaluation form for 12000 students and for 500 academic staffs. Summary of reports are stored in a dedicated server placed in a secured data center which can be accessed by authorized personnel only.
The Online Teachers’ Evaluation System saves departmental committee processing (calculation) time, which means 5(five) Committee members were scarifying at least 10(ten) hours of each to process the evaluation results for 25(twenty five) staff members in a department.
Figure 2, Students’ Evaluation page of TES
Table1, TES report format
5.3. ISSUES ON ONLINE TEACHERS’ EVALUATION SYSTEM