...the web teacher evaluations application home page...


Short (Non-Comprehensive) History of Teacher Evaluations on the Internet:

Our Student Government began toying with the idea of web-based teacher evaluations in Spring 1998 and after several nasty events (including the temporary closure of my personnal directory on the school's server, and the repeated threats of a lawsuit from faculty members), we decided to regroup and search the Net. Ultimately, we decided to see how other sites were taking their licks in the US court system before going any further.

We first found teacherreview.com - which was created by City College student Ryan Lathouwers and was sued (see story here and here) a short time later by Daniel Curzon-Brown, an English professor at San Francisco City College.

Little did we (or Ryan!) know at the time, but this particular case would come to be the landmark Internet-based teacher evaluation case [ed: my opinion]. In October 1999, Ryan (et al.) was sued by Curzon-Brown because teacherreview.com student reviewers had ranked him at or near the bottom of all professors by GPA (the website's grading standard), some of the reviews about him even included profanity. Thankfully the ACLU ended up taking Ryan's defense on January 31, 2000.

On October 3, 2000, the year-old case was dropped (see story here and here) by the two (one more had joined the lawsuit during its lifetime) professors - not only that, they paid $10,000 in attorneys fees as well! The First Amendment is not dead yet kids.

The teacherreview.com site now boasts anonymous student reviews for over 600 of colleges and universities, so you may want to consider that as an option as opposed to creating your own on-site evaluations with our scripts. We prefered to engineer our own solution for many reasons, and we encourage you to do the same. We used a donated i386 computer, RedHat Linux, the Apache web server, and Perl to create ours (the site has since been moved to a hosting company).

After the ACLU and Ryan cleared the way, our teacher evaluation site went back into testing in late 2000 and went live during the Spring semester of 2001. Thanks to everyone in and outside of SGA for their patience and hardwork on this project! I would especially like to thank Stu, Mo, and the faculty members who have supported us from day one (you guys are true open minded academics).

BTW: President Clinton once said in an interview that he supported teacher reviews while he was a faculty member because no one is above a review.

External Links:

Timeline of events from teacherreview.com
Webeval download page
CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network)

What Now?

Follow the download link above to get the latest source code and install it. All you need is a web server and Perl.

Are you a developer looking for support? Visit the webeval open discussion forum.

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(C) 2001 sfbrent-at-sourceforge.net - the webeval application is released under the GNU GPL (OpenSource License - what this means).