How does your department evaluate graduate students as they progress through the PhD program? One common method is an annual letter from the department to the student, based on a discussion about the student at a faculty meeting. How informative are these letters? What kinds of information do they provide? My sense is that comparative information (rankings or sortings) were more common in the past. Do any departments still engage in this practice? Do they share the results with the students? Graduate students, do you feel like you are getting sufficient feedback? What kinds of information would you like to see in these letters?
(image: pencil carving by Dalton Ghetti)