how to write a self-evaluation

Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

We’re about one week away from the end of fall semester, and this last stretch of time typically means two things for Hampshire students: final projects and self-evaluations. For many of you, this will be your first time writing a self-evaluation. You’ve probably heard of the self-eval, but are you feeling unsure of what it is and how to write one? They’re crucial elements of your reflective academic progress, and the few you write in the next couple of weeks will be the first set of many to come during your Hampshire experience. But don’t stress it, you’ve got enough to deal with for finals! Here’s a breakdown:

First, here’s a definition:

A self-eval is written evaluation of your experiences and work in a specific course during the past semester. It has three main functions:

  1. It gives you a space to reflect on your work. Taking the time to process what you’ve learned and noticed in the classroom and about yourself is essential in making sense of this past semester.
  2. It reminds your professor about what kind of student you are. Reflecting and evaluating on your own performance as a student in the classroom greatly helps your professor in remembering and evaluating you.
  3. It reminds your future self of the experience you’ve had and the work you’ve done. Years from now, you’ll be glad that you have a written record of your experiences in your first few semesters!

Still confused? Ask your professor! Each of your professors may have different guidelines or interests, so feel free to reach out to them for guidance.

Now, let’s go through the process:

To start off, you can briefly explain why took the course in the first place. What about the subject or course description intrigued you, and why?

Think about your goals: What were they? Did you fulfill them, discover new goals, or did some evolve over time?

Think about your performance: How do you think you did this past semester? Did you put enough time and energy into the course? Would you do anything differently, and why? Did you participate in class, and ask for help when you needed it?

Think about specific work you’ve completed over the course of the semester: What assignments or projects are you particularly proud of? Are there any assignments that you find especially significant, and why? It might help to look to the future and imagine what work you’d actually want to see in your Division I portfolio. (Don’t feel is necessary to mention every scrap of work you did—just highlight and explain what mattered the most to you.)

Additionally, give some thought to these questions:

  • What were some key points or lessons from the course that resonated with you, and why?
  • Do you think this course might be helpful to the rest of your studies, and why?

(Note: This is an evaluation of YOUR work in the course. Only mention critique of the professor, the course, or the rest of the class if these situations truly hindered your performance. You’ll have the chance to openly and anonymously critique the course separately. This is the time to focus and reflect on your growth.)

Extra Tips:

  • Curious about length? I would aim for writing one page (two at most) to adequately answer these questions, and to expand on certain issues. You’re definitely not expected to write an entire paper as a self-evaluation.
  • Once you’re done, remember to submit your self-eval on TheHub under the “Courses/Divisional Evaluations” tab! This is crucial!
  • Make sure to check in with faculty—some professors may have certain self-evaluation guidelines for their course. (I’ve had one particular experience when my professor’s specific request for writing a self-eval for his course was simply: “Tell me what you learned and how you learned it.” Professors vary.)
  • If you have any further questions, make sure to visit campus resources like PARC for more advice and to see actual examples of student self-evals.
  • Don’t stress it! These self-evals can be considered creative reflections on your experiences so far—try and have fun with it!
  • Remember, what you’ve just read is not a mandatory guideline, just helpful suggestions for your self-eval writing process. Ultimately, it is what you make it.

Best of luck in the next couple of weeks!

Please contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any comments, questions, or concerns. We’re always happy to help!

people you should know: parc!

Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

Before break, I visited PARC for the first time. Never heard of this particular name among the many acronyms at Hampshire? The Peer Academic Resource Center has a presence on campus that is actually a few years old, but this year is its first in a public location. Where can you find it? You’ve probably already walked by it a few times! PARC can be found at the end of the library Infobar.

So, what is it?
PARC is a space run by students, for students, and supported by the Center for Academic Support and Advising. Most notably, it houses a comprehensive library of resources that can be incredibly helpful to students trying to navigate the Hampshire divisional process—this means you! During a visit, you can browse through example self-evals; Div I and II portfolios; Div II retrospectives, Div III abstracts and portfolios, and academic tip sheets and guides in their collection, among other things. I know it can be difficult to visualize what the end product of a divisional portfolio should look like—I remember wishing for examples to turn to when I was wrapping up my Div I. PARC is definitely the place to find them!

Additionally, PARC can offer information on CEL-I/II requirements, peer support and advice, and monitored study sessions. The students who work at PARC are returning, more experienced Hampshire students who have been specifically trained to help you understand and navigate your Div I/II/III’s and CEL I/II processes. It was built by students on a simple philosophy: “We’ve been there!” The fundamental idea is that students can help you understand and manage Hampshire in a successful way that advisors, parents, or professors cannot, because they haven’t actually done it before. This is an important truth to recognize as you find yourself asking more questions about Hampshire.

There really can be something to learn and see there for everyone, but the unfortunate truth is that they’re a barely used resource on campus! When talking with a student worker, she told me how they consider themselves lucky to work with one student per day. Why? It seems like not many people know about PARC, especially given it’s new location. Consider this post an effort to spread the word, and I highly encourage you to stop by and visit them!

So, when’s it open?
PARC hours are:
Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday,  2–8 p.m.
Thursday, 12-8 p.m.
Friday, 12-6 p.m.

They also have a pretty sweet Facebook page with frequent updates—make sure to check it out!

As always, e-mail us with any questions, comments or concerns you have at newtohamp@hampshire.edu!