Does Instructor Evaluation by Students Using a Web-Based Questionnaire Impact Instructor Performance?

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Abstract

Background: Student feedback is a valuable method to evaluate the quality of education. Using a WEB-based questionnaire, the objective of this study was to evaluate the factors that may affect the ratings given by the students and the impact of those ratings on the instructor’s teaching performance. Methods: The questionnaire was organized into four areas: containment, presentation skills, measurement and assessment, and communication skills. In addition, there was a final area in which the students could express their opinions about their instructor. The students were asked to rank their instructors in each of the four areas using a scale of 1–5. In both May 2002 and 2003, the students ranked their instructors using the WEB-based questionnaire. Results: In 2002, 468 students evaluated 146 instructors; while in 2003, 360 students evaluated 144 instructors. Of the total number of instructors evaluated, 140 were evaluated both in 2002 and 2003. The mean point scores for these 140 instructors were 3.64 ± 0.51 in 2002 and 3.65 ± 0.54 in 2003. There was no statistically significant difference according to the titles of the instructors. For both 2002 and 2003, regarding the last section in the questionnaire where students could present their opinions, 80 of the students, indicated the instructors had communication problems. All instructors with low scores were mentioned to have poor communication skills. The changes in the mean point scores were evaluated comparing results from 2002 and 2003. Fourteen professors, four associate professors, three assistant professors, two lecturers were found to have higher scores, three professors, seven associate professors, five assistant professors, and one lecturer were found to have lower scores. Conclusion: No significant improvement was found in the mean points of the total group. In the second year, only 16.4 of the instructors were affected positively.