Custom questions for evaluating instructors?


I understand that adding questions is discouraged and I have read the relevant resources about that. But I have a program manager (and the instructors themselves) asking whether they can create a custom question in the Lifelong Learning survey specifically about the instructor’s performance. For example: “What did the instructor do well?” or “Do you have suggestions for improvement for the instructor?”. Has anyone tried this? Or is there a reason not to do this?

Alternatively, could we suggest that they ask patrons to include any instructor feedback in the 2 open-ended questions?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


We have thought some about this in Sno-Isle Libraries. Our intent in surveying customers is to understand their perspective and experience. We have found that they give the feedback about presentation-style, etc. in the existing open-ended questions. If we are intending to evaluate the expertise, content, instructional-style of presenters or instructors, then we would turn to our library staff subject matter experts and do an observational study of the presenter themselves, with a specific set of criteria, checklist, etc. that was designed to inform what we really needed to know. That being said, I’m NOT opposed to custom questions, we have a fair number, we just try to keep them focused on the attendees themselves and what they are experts at knowing. Our staff have asked for a way to view “ratings” of external instructors/presenters - it’s definitely a need, isn’t it??!!