Evaluation Of College Faculty: What Do Accounting Students Really Think?

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Paul J. Carruth
Ann K. Carruth

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Abstract

Student opinion surveys of teaching are widely implemented at the university level for many reasons.  Faculty members use the input from students to improve their teaching while administrators often use the information for merit, and tenure and promotion decisions. The extensive use of student ratings is in part the result of the increased interest in improving teaching and the growing demand for greater accountability on the part of colleges and universities.  At issue is the concern that students are asked to evaluate faculty on components of teaching deemed important by divisions of institutional research and not necessarily by faculty themselves.  Final approval of student opinion surveys may be prematurely granted without sufficient input from consumers.  The purpose of this paper is to explore issues surrounding the wide spread use of student opinion of teaching surveys for evaluative purposes and to describe the role of student ratings in judging teaching effectiveness. An extensive review of literature was used to construct a survey administered to 165 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate accounting courses.  Students were asked to rank effective teaching practices.  The results of this survey guide faculty and administrators to understand, from students’ perspective, effective teaching practices.  Conclusions are drawn concerning the appropriate use of the information obtained from student evaluations and the impact the student ratings have on the quality of instruction in colleges and universities.

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