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CMC / Denver Group


Student Evaluations

Introducing Student Evaluations is a major change to the methods we have been using the last few years. This is a big deal.

We have used evaluations in the past but they were not entirely effective. We completely revamped the evaluation method. The goal of the new evaluation system is two-fold:

1. To give the student a visible and concrete and specific set of expectations
2. To give the instructors a detailed road map of what they need to cover during the class

As to the first goal, we want to hold the students more accountable. They need to be paying closer attention to each and every skill that we teach and they need to do so with increased attention to detail. The detail on the evaluation sheet also helps us achieve a higher level of consistency in delivering the curriculum.

One of the reasons that this consistencey was important to me was that I was seeing students come in who were either rusty on prerequisite skills or were missing some of the prerequisites despite providing assurances that they met all the prerequisites.

As to the second goal, I want to be sure we are not omitting any of the skills we are promising to teach. The evaluation sheet acts almost as a check box for each of those skills

Evaluation Process

The Site Manager should provide blank copies of the Evaluations for all students. The students will be responsible for completing the Evaluation sheets and returning them to the Site Manager (or individual designated by the Site Manager). There is an accordion file in the TCS file drawer that can be used to store Evaluation Sheets between lectures. The Site Manager might prefer to collect the Evaluation sheets at the end of the last lecture before a field day, and then distribute the sheets to the students, along with their borrowed gear.

Evaluations during lectures are easy. Evaluations during field days are a bit trickier. I suggest all instructors carry a blank copy of the Evaluation to remind them of both the items they must cover and also the items that must be evaluated.

If the evaluations can be made and marked in the field, all the better. But I only need to know about students who did not pass. So one evaluation method could be: carry a small notebook and make notes of those students who did not pass a skill, and then mark it when you get back to the cars. We can provide weather-proof notebooks for this purpose. If there are no failures, everyone gets a Pass.

The Site Manager MUST be sure to remind students to turn in their Evaluation forms.

What constitutes a failure? That depends on the expectation. If the expectation is that the student has mastered the skill, they must be able to demonstrate the skill without prompt before the end of the class. It is ok if they start out with hesitation but display confidence by the end of the class. It is ok if they recognize a mistake and correct it.

If the skill on which they are being evaluated is a core skill that would threaten the safety of themselves or their teammates, they will not be allowed to continue if they cannot demonstrate mastery.

Specific skills and expectations will be examined during the specialized training for that class.

The Preparedness section in the Evaluation evaluates how well the student has mastered the prerequisites for the class. We are not teaching any of the Preparedness skills; they must already know them. If the students fail any of the core Preparedness skills, they cannot continue with the class.

Please keep in mind that it is our responsibility to teach these skills effectively. If students are having trouble with some of the skills, perhaps we need to look at it from a different angle to help them learn it more effectively.


These evaluations are not optional. A few years ago, we had some instructors who did not turn in evaluations. That is unacceptable now. It will be an adjustment. Doing evaluations is going to be harder than not doing evaluations. But we must do them. And we will continue to refine the process. So please give us feedback on how to improve.

Evaluation forms will be listed on the instructor site that corresponds to the class. But you can find a sample Here