Tricks for Boosting Student Evaluations

Student course-evaluation season is coming our way in a few short weeks. We all know that the process of soliciting information from students is fraught with many serious concerns and complications.

Despite the serious nature of the process, I often chuckle at how faculty members will sometimes wheedle and cajole their students to give higher marks. Local doughnut shops tend to see sales rise that week as professors buy treats for their classes. Extra-credit assignments seem to pop up like mushrooms after a nice long spring shower. Pep talks about how much the students make life worth living are heard resounding in the hallways.

What is the most interesting “trick” you have seen faculty members use to bargain for better student evaluations?

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