GRE Argument Essay 90
The following appeared in a memorandum from a dean at Omega University.
“Fifteen years ago, Omega University implemented a new procedure that encouraged students to evaluate the teaching effectiveness of all their professors. Since that time, Omega professors have begun to assign higher grades in their classes, and overall student grade averages at Omega have risen by thirty percent. Potential employers apparently believe the grades at Omega are inflated; this would explain why Omega graduates have not been as successful at getting jobs as have graduates from nearby Alpha University. To enable its graduates to secure better jobs, Omega University should now terminate student evaluation of professors.”
In the memorandum the dean at Omega University expresses that student evaluation of professors has been the cause why Omega graduates have not been able to get jobs as compared to Alpha University. He says that students have been getting higher grades since student evaluation of professors has been started and it has not benefited in getting them jobs. Therefore evaluation of professors by students should be stopped so that the graduates can get better jobs. The argument presented by the dean does seem to be logical but it has certain loopholes which can have a great effect on its validity.
The dean has underestimated the importance of evaluation of professors by students. It is very important to check the work done by professors from time to time in order to assess their work. It has been seen many times that professors do not take pains to teach in the class and instead take private tuitions after the college hours. Moreover, professors have a laid back attitude towards completing syllabus, making students understand the topics and checking their progress. In order to check all these practices it is very important to evaluate the work done by professors. This can be done best by students because they are in a direct contact with these professors. The dean ignores the importance of checking the professors of the university which can also have an effect on the grades of graduates and the jobs being offered to them.
The overall student grade averages may have risen by thirty percent in the past fifteen years, but this fact can be independent of the evaluation of professors done by students. The dean supports that the students are getting grades that they do not deserve since there are not securing jobs despite a higher grade. However, the inflated grades could also be a result of a change in the pattern of exams. There could have been a change in the past fifteen years which makes it easier for students to score in the exam. Therefore, if students are getting higher grades, it could be because of their performance in these exams which make them score higher. Therefore, the professors should not be completely held responsible for the increase in the average grades of students.
The dean also ignores the attitude of students towards studies. While some students might take the opportunity of evaluation of professors as a chance to score higher, there can be students genuinely interested in studies. There are mixed types of students in a university. There can be average students, low scorers as well as geniuses and toppers. The toppers, majority of average scorers as well as many low scorers are more concerned about their studies and scoring on their merit than get involved in getting a high score out of practices like student evaluation of professors. Thus, even if the professors give them higher grades in order to have a better image in the eyes of the students and save their jobs, it is possible that these students are unaffected by this. Therefore, there are many students who deserve the grades that they get. This should make them equally capable of securing jobs as graduates from any other university.
If more graduates from Alpha University are able to secure jobs for themselves than from Omega University, there can be reasons for this other than that mentioned by the dean. It is possible that Alpha University has different types of courses that are of more value for the potential employers. Thus the employers seek graduates from these courses rather than from courses running in Omega University. It is also likely that if the students from Omega University are not able to get jobs for themselves as compared to those of Alpha University it is because they have not been able to perform well in interviews conducted by employers. In that case, Omega University should employ job counselors to teach the students interviewing skills rather than abolish student evaluation of professors.
A careful analysis exposes the loopholes in the argument of the dean. The memorandum does not seem strong enough to support the decision of abolishing student evaluation of professors because all the reasons given by the dean are questionable. Hence the dean should think again and present a logical and foolproof solution to help students get jobs for themselves.