Research in Higher Education

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 471–486 | Cite as

Student Evaluation of Instruction: In the New Paradigm of Distance Education



Distance education has experienced soaring development over the last decade. With millions of students in higher education enrolling in distance education, it becomes critically important to understand student learning and experiences with online education. Based on a large sample of 11,351 students taught by 1,522 instructors from 29 colleges and universities, this study investigates the factors that impact student evaluation of instruction in distance education, using a two-level hierarchical model. Key findings reveal that in a distance education setting, gender and class size are no longer significant predictors of quality of instruction. However, factors such as reasons for taking the course, student class status and instructor’s academic rank have a significant impact on student evaluation of learning and instruction. Findings from this study offer important implications for institutional administrators on utilizing the evaluation results and on developing strategies to help faculty become effective online instructors.


Distance education eSIR Hierarchical linear modeling Learning outcomes Student evaluation of instruction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Testing ServicePrincetonUSA

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