How to Get High Student Evaluations in a Korean University

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Student Evaluations in Korean Universities
Student Evaluations in Korean Universities

So, you want to get good student evaluations from your university students in Korea, or elsewhere in the world? The most important thing is to actually be a good teacher!

But, keep on reading for more tips to get some seriously high scores and perhaps even keep your job.

Evaluations in Korea Actually Matter

When you teach English in a South Korea university, you’ll see very quickly that student evaluations really do matter. At my current workplace, the bottom 50% of teachers get the cut at the end of the end of their contract and evaluations serve as the sole basis for this.

If there are other factors that universities consider, student evaluations are usually the most important thing, by far. If you score below the mark, there’s nothing your boss can do to save you, no matter how awesome of a drinking buddy you are!

Not to worry, my readers, help is here! I’m going to tell you how to get high student evaluations when teaching in a Korean university. Good news for you: none of them are rocket science. Ready?

Tips for Getting High Student Evaluations in South Korean Universities

1. Be in class before the students arrive. It’s bad news when a teacher arrives late and wastes the first 5 or 10 minutes getting their PPT all set up. Do this before class. This is especially true on the first day. First impressions matter and you likely don’t know the ins and outs of the technology in that specific classroom?

How do you get the screen down? Turn on the computer?

2. Stay after class for a few minutes. Be available if a student needs to talk to you. Don’t rush out quickly, especially if you don’t have another class. The shy students will often wait until most of the other students have left if they need to talk to you about something.

3. Maintain your “game face” at all times and never lose your cool. Yelling is a sure way to do badly when it comes to student evaluations.

4. Be careful about what you say- never say anything offensive to an individual or to Koreans in general. Seriously, in a shame based culture this is a big no-no.

5. Be kind and smile. Koreans like happy, friendly teachers.

Tips and Tricks for Getting Good Evaluations

6. Be fair and have a transparent grading system. Tell students exactly how you’ll calculate their grade so that they don’t have to guess. NEVER play favorites, in fact, this is the fastest way to get low evaluations.

7. Prepare a wide variety of games and activities-make class fun, engaging and interesting!

8. Make students think you are working hard for them. You don’t actually need to, but prepare an impressive PowerPoint every once in a while or a little review handout for them before a test. They’ll appreciate it.

9. Snack time! A few treats and snacks never hurt anyone, ever. I always bring in a few if we play a game of some kind. Or, a little treat for the entire class around exam time.

10. Dress professionally. Appearance is important in Korea. Look the part of a teacher, you know?

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