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College Extends Tutor Evaluations

In an effort to encourage exam-weary students to participate in the online tutor survey, College administrators extended the period that students can evaluate their tutors through the weekend.

This is at least the second such extension.

“Students have been so swamped with exams and papers—we’re looking at pretty uneven results,” said Associate Dean of the College Thomas A. Dingman ’67. “We’re hoping more people will respond now that they know they have more time.”

Eliot and Kirkland led the 10 participating Houses in response rates as of yesterday, at 55 percent. Mather and Dunster Houses saw the least response with 14 and 19 percent, respectively. Quincy and Leverett Houses are not participating in the survey.

While College administrators have promised a special study break to the House with the most participation, the Houses have taken the incentive and strategies of encouragement one step farther—some in unorthodox ways.

In Kirkland House, Co-Masters Tom and Verena Conley have promised $100 to the entryway with the most participation, and members of Kirkland’s House Committee (HoCo) have been Instant Messaging friends in the House with the URL of the survey.

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“The House masters mentioned it to me at least four times—they kept pushing the issue,” said Sloan J. Eddleston ’04, Kirkland’s HoCo chair.

Eliot House Co-Master Lino Pertile struck back, encouraging students in an e-mail to “give me a hand and let’s beat Kirkland.”

An e-mail from Mather House Co-Masters Sandra Naddaff ’75 and Leigh Hafrey ’73 promised residents a bonus open house “with extra sushi” if 75 percent of students participate. The e-mail urged Matherites to “Do it for Mather.”

Students in other Houses have received numerous e-mails reminding them to fill out the survey.

College administrators were unable to determine what methods were most effective in encouraging participation, but Becky Reimer, a research assistant in the Office of Instructional Research and Evaluation, noted Kirkland and Eliot were among the Houses that participated in the trial run of the survey last year.

“I think it had a little bit of visibility because the students recognized it from last year,” Reimer said.

She added she thinks this year more students will fill out the survey because all of the participating Houses are offering it at the same time.

Students can participate in the survey through this weekend. It can be found at www.fas.harvard.edu/~oire/surveys/tutor_survey.

—Staff writer Emily M. Anderson can be reached at emanders@fas.harvard.edu.

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