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Oh Man, Is It Time for the OMETs Again?: Why Student Surveys Matter

by Amanda Bateman


It’s the time of the year that the OMET emails appear in everyone’s inbox. The Student Opinon of Teaching surveys or OMETs are conducted by the Office of Measurement & Evaluation of Teaching (OMET) during the last three weeks of the fall and spring terms. The responses that students give to the survey are kept completely confidential and instructors don’t receive the survey results until after final grades have been posted.

They’re easy to gloss over, but here is why filling out these surveys is important. Instructors value your feedback and want to hear from their students what has worked and what hasn’t. Your feedback is valuable because you’re the ones who have been sitting in their classes all semester. Instructors are often looking for new ideas and the surveys are a great way to share your ideas.

According to Nancy Reilly, the director of the Office of Measurement & Evaluation of Teaching, both the written responses and the rating portion of the survey are equally important.

“I think both sections are important but in different ways,” Reilly said. “With the written responses, the professor can take specific feedback the students provide and determine if it is possible to take action in revising the course.  The rating questions give a snapshot view of how the students perceive the class.”

Lastly, Reilly wants all students to know these surveys are a way to change their own education on campus.

“This is a student’s opportunity to have an impact on the quality of education at Pitt.  This is the chance to give a constructive critique of a class.  That is to say that even suggestions for change should be approached in a respectful manner.  And while the student will probably not take the same course from the same professor again, if every student does his/her part in giving thoughtful responses to all questions, even including the open-ended questions, then all students will ultimately benefit from instruction that has student input.”

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