Is there a way to provide feedback about the professor I work with as a TA?
Date: May 2019
I have been a teaching assistant for two semesters now and my experience in both of the semesters has been very opposite with respect to how the concerned professors interact with the TA, assign work, act on student feedback, and all such issues.
I was wondering if there is any system in place where TAs can provide feedback about the professor they worked with? If yes, can you please direct me to it? If not, can you please help me know how to provide this feedback?
I feel my feedback will definitely help improve this course for future TAs as well as students taking this course in the future.
Hoping that there is a feedback system for this issue.
Dear Diligent TA,
Thank you for your Ask a Dean question, and thanks also for your thoughtful approach to your Teaching Assistant responsibilities. The elements you are observing – interactions with TAs, making assignments, soliciting and acting on student feedback – are all factors that have the potential to affect the quality of teaching and learning in the course. Your diligence in paying attention to these, as you are doing, will serve you well throughout your career.
I consulted with the academic leadership in the college where the course you TA is offered. They suggested that you provide feedback to the department chair (associated with the course) either in writing (e.g., by email) or in a one-on-one meeting. The department chair could then include that feedback when discussing the course evaluation feedback with the professor. If you were the only TA for the course, you could let the department chair know if you would be comfortable with the professor knowing that specific feedback came from the TA, or if you would prefer that your comments get included with the overall student course evaluation comments to help preserve your anonymity.
The college leadership indicated to me that the topic of TA training is currently under discussion in some departments, and your observations would be useful in developing TA training guidelines and expectations.
Thanks again for your diligence in caring about the quality of instruction at Cornell,
Barbara A. Knuth
Dean of the Graduate School