Excellent point! This is one variable that does affect student ratings. Generally, elective courses receive higher ratings than do required courses. Students tend to be more motivated to take elective courses and student motivation does play a role in subsequent student evaluation of the course and the instructor. Research on this campus validates this finding. Because of this relationship, we control for this variable on our ICES reports. On the instructor summary report, we compare your ICES scores on the global items to other faculty on campus according to the elective/required nature of the course. We have three broad categories: required, mixed, and elective. These normative comparison groups are used on the instructor summary report, longitudinal profiles, and our List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent.