Dissertation Changes: End of Course Evaluations

by | December 14, 2012

Capella has determined what we believe will be the five most significant effects of the dissertation changes on learners coming into 2013. One of these is that the evaluations that have been available to learners during coursework will now be available in the 9960 dissertation courseroom. Although I’m sure you’re familiar with these evaluations, I wanted to make a couple of observations about what will be the same and what will be different about completing an evaluation for a mentor.

Here’s what will be the same:

* The goal of this evaluation is to get the learner’s perspective on whether their learning experience was as effective as it could be.

* Some critical distance from your feelings is helpful when you fill out the evaluation. This is about finding constructive ways for faculty to improve and noting what they’re doing well, and you don’t have to like someone in order for them to have done their job effectively. It’s also important to be able to describe problematic job performances without using charged language that might obscure your intent.

* Capella reviews these evaluations and uses them as a factor in determining how we move forward.


Here’s what should be different in your evaluation of your mentor:

* A dissertation is not a course. Your mentor is not your instructor. The goal of a dissertation is to demonstrate that you’ve transitioned from being a learner to being an independent scholar. So as you evaluate your mentor, consider this difference in role.

* You do not have specific assignments or grades. You are creating your plan for the quarter. Your evaluation should center around your mentor’s timeliness, clarity of communication, and ability to navigate the dissertation process with you.

* Unlike with coursework, you work with the same person every quarter. Therefore, the goal of this evaluation is to help your mentor do a better job each quarter in helping you. Be specific about what you need, with the expectation that this evaluation will help you achieve this in your mentoring relationship.


We are so excited about what these changes have the potential to do for dissertators! Please consider attending an orientation session to familiarize yourself with these changes and ask questions. You can view sessions and RSVP from here.