Student Ratings of Instruction in College and University Courses

Chapter
Part of the Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research book series (HATR, volume 29)

Abstract

Findings from research on student ratings are summarized from the 1970s to 2013. There were 1,874 references, including 564 since 1994, using the ERIC descriptors “student evaluation of teacher performance” and “higher education.” The authors address the validity of self-report data, misconceptions about student ratings, essentials of credible research, and elements of reliability and validity. Evidence of reliability includes consistency, stability, and generalizability of ratings. Validity evidence consists of relations to other variables, including achievement; instructor self-ratings; ratings by administrators, colleagues, alumni, and trained observers; and student-written comments as well as survey multidimensionality. Possible sources of bias are extraneous student, instructor, and course characteristics either unrelated or related to ratings. Few meaningful differences occur between ratings administered online versus on paper and ratings in online versus face-to-face courses. Recommendations are made for the appropriate use of student ratings and for future research.

Notes

Acknowledgment

The authors wish to thank The IDEA Center for granting permission to use chapter portions of IDEA Paper No. 50, Student Ratings of Teaching: A Summary of Research and Literature.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The IDEA CenterManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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