Student course evaluations involve assumptions about what makes good teaching and what performance standards in teaching can be expected.

Faculty members must be willing to be evaluated by students and must have a basic trust in the reliability of the procedure and its results. Without this cooperation, the goal of student course evaluation—optimizing instruction—remains out of reach. If instructors don’t have confidence in the accuracy of the results, they can hardly be expected to reflect on their teaching, or to consider making changes.