Standard Of Measurement For Student Evaluation Instruments

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Kathleen Simione
David Cadden
Angela Mattie


Student evaluations, teaching ratings, performance


For colleges and universities, the expectation for excellence in teaching and learning has made development of a system for measuring teaching effectiveness critical. Teaching effectiveness is generally assessed with a comprehensive review of skills including instructional design, instructional delivery and course management. This requires student feedback usually in the form of Student Evaluation Instruments (SEIs). Since SEIs are an important part of measuring teaching effectiveness to assess excellence, and excellence in the classroom is expected when considering promotion and tenure, it follows that they play an integral role in the promotion and tenure process.  In fact, faculty promotions and the issuance of tenure may hinge on the results of these vital evaluations. Our study investigates the use of SEIs at our university’s School of Business.  Unlike many other prior studies, limited to a single course or department and a single semester, we examined data collected from the use during six semesters (three years) of our Student Evaluation Instrument for the entire School of Business.  The results yielded nearly 30,000 useable responses across all business majors. If SEIs are to be used effectively and fairly then one must have a clear understanding as to what should be the appropriate standard used to evaluate faculty teaching effectiveness. Should a global value – the mean for the entire school or university – be used or should it be based on the mean for each department?  We believe this to be a critical consideration given the potential for differences in mean ratings amongst departments.   


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