But Aleamoni said that even if his research suggests that some student evaluations — designed in ways that differ from the Texas A&M approach — can be reliable, he has always stressed that these evaluations should never be the sole basis for a decision about the quality of someone’s teaching. “Students are only in a position to judge performance in the classroom,” Aleamoni said.
Any real evaluation of teaching, he said, must include peer analysis of such issues as, “How well was the course designed? Are the materials current and up to date? Have they set up the right kinds of standards for the students?” And students aren’t in a position to judge these things, he added.
Of course, one does not have to worry about this in IISc, where teaching is minimal. At one time I used to teach three main courses and now I have decayed to teach three students in one course.
However, this is not dissimilar to the schemes instituted by the Government of India wherein one gets paid various amounts of money (sometimes, concurrently) if faculty get fellowships like the Swarnajayanthi, JC Bose etc., or awards like the Bhatnagar or are elected as Fellows of Academies. As Professor Balaram notes in his recent editorial, most of these are given based on promise and patronage rather than performance.
Wouldn't it be better if the rewards are given without personal money but with huge research or teaching grants? This would result in the faculty actually doing science rather than writing proposals to various funding agencies or lobbying to get themselves nominated for these fellowships.