I have been interested in student evaluations of faculty for over 35 years. My interest began in the 1970's when, as Chair of the Physics Department, I tried to find an instrument I could trust. It peaked in 1978 when the Administration and the AAUP had to select a safe and reliable system to use University-wide. As President of the AAUP, it was my responsibility to ensure that the faculty’s interests were protected and that a "safe" instrument was selected. Here is a short set of Endeavor documents that will provide further historical background, interpretive information, and commentary on our current evaluation system. This is a short compendium of some of my personal files and notes on student evaluations and their history at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
We started using the Endeavor student evaluation instrument in 1980 after a long committee investigation. Here is a short History of Student Evaluations at FDU that includes discussion of the various Senate enabling resolutions. At that time Endeavor was a commercial product and came with a set of interpretive materials. The most important of these was a Handbook that was distributed to all users. When Endeavor ceased being a commercial product (about 1986) the University took over, with permission, its content and began our current method of internal administration. Unfortunately, when we took over administration of Endeavor we did not continue to publish a full set of interpretive materials. All that remains is my version of the Endeavor Users Handbook based on an op-scan of the original read by OCR. I eliminated the instructions for ordering the commercial product and reorganized the remainder. However, I did not edit any of the remaining text. It contains a history of the development of Endeavor, discussions about its use and interpretation, and a group of references to the literature including some of the papers published as Endeavor was developed. It should be required reading for anyone seeking to use or understand Endeavor.
The Handbook is a rather lengthy document. Users needed a short version, devoted to interpretation. In the early 1990s when I was Assistent VP for Academic Affairs I wrote a short set of Guidelines for Use that summarize the most important points from the full Handbook. It was circulated in edited form by the Office of the VPAA. The Guidelines linked here is the version I feel is the best.
Finally, I have put some of what I have learned in 40 years of working with student evaluations of faculty at FDU along with some strongly held opinions into a Position Paper on Student Evaluations. This document contains a lot of material that I would strongly urge anyone starting to look at our or other systems to read and consider. It contains a greatly expanded section on how to use and interpret Endeavor safely. I do not expect that everyone will agree with all that I have written. However, I would ask that it be read by any who seek to modify Endeavor.
Finally, here is the Endeavor form itself.