Research in Higher Education

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 335–346 | Cite as

A description of effective college teaching in five disciplines as measured by student ratings

  • John T. Pohlmann


Student rating of teachers in five disciplines (science and math, education, social sciences, humanities, and business) were analyzed to determine which teacher attributes were important in predicting ratings of teaching effectiveness. Rating results from 1,439 courses taught at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale from 1973 to 1974 were used as data for this study. The results indicated that the instructor attributes rated as characteristic of effective instruction were highly consistent across disciplines, and the effective instructor was described as (1) knowing when students understood him, (2) increasing students' appreciation of the subject matter, (3) answering impromptu questions satisfactorily, (4) achieving the objectives of the course, and (5) giving several examples to explain complex topics.

Key words

student ratings teaching effectiveness instructor evaluation 


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Copyright information

© APS Publications, Inc. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • John T. Pohlmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Guidance and Educational PsychologySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondale

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