August Presentation (PPT) - Grand Valley State University

A presentation by:
The University Student Evaluation of
Teaching Task Force
August, 2014
Take a moment…
Reflect upon feedback you have received
from your student ratings of your teaching.
 Were the comments/ratings useful?
 Did they help you improve?
 Were they demoralizing?
Comments From Student Ratings…
The entire structure of this class is messed
up! The 10 minute quizzes were bull***t.
She taught this class like it was a SWS class
but its not SWS. Therefore she needs to
change that. This final exam is bull***t. We
have never been tested on the material yet.
Does not tolerate logical discussion from
He just rubbed me the wrong way.
Comments Continued…
Best teacher at Grand Valley; he should
get a big raise.
She was cool. I’d like to set her up with
my dad.
Student Ratings of Teaching at
GVSU’s primary identity is that of a teaching
institution, and we use student ratings for
important personnel and salary decisions.
Student ratings of teaching performance should
be a tool that give faculty useful information to
help them succeed.
Yet, we are not measuring student perceptions of
teaching effectiveness in a consistent, empirically
validated manner.
Concerns with Student Rating
Instruments at GVSU
25 different instruments that measure 180
constructs/competencies are used across
the university.
Most instruments are homemade and
have not been tested for validity or
Concerns With Interpreting Student
Ratings of Teaching at GVSU
Student ratings of teaching are a
subjective and perceptual measure, but
they are often treated as a finite and
objective measure.
Interpretation Concerns
Some units place too much weight on small
differences in rating scores. For example,
there is not much empirical difference
between scores of 4.1 and 4.3, but such gaps
are often treated as meaningful.
Student comments are sometimes being
used haphazardly and inconsistently.
Interpreting rating form comments
necessitates specific questions and a
validated coding system.
Concerns With the Use of Student
Rating Data at GVSU
Student ratings of teaching are not a complete
measure of teaching effectiveness, and they are
sometimes given too much importance in the
instructor evaluation process.
There is no consensus across the university about
the weight that should be assigned to student
Use Concerns continued…
The outputs of student ratings are used
inconsistently across the university. Some
units use only scores, some use only
comments, and some use both. Some units
have no specific guidelines about what
should be used.
Past Work on Student Rating
A 2007 task force studied the feasibility of a university-wide
student rating system. The task force concluded there was a lack
of understanding at GVSU regarding the purposes and use of
student rating systems, and education of faculty and
administrators was needed before a university-wide system was
From 2010-2013, the Pew FTLC Advisory Committee conducted
an extensive investigation into available student rating
instruments. It recommended that GVSU should adopt a
standardized instrument. It further noted that faculty held many
incorrect notions about student ratings of teaching.
ECS held a number of town hall meetings during AY 2013-2014
to give faculty an opportunity to learn about and discuss the
ECS/UAS Motion
On January 31, 2014, the UAS approved the following
The university should adopt a standardized measure of
student evaluations of faculty teaching that meets
contemporary standards for reliability and validity in
psychometric measurement. The measure should yield
both quantitative and qualitative results. The university
should also adopt a standardized platform for
administration of the measure (e.g., online software). The
measure and platform should be used in all units and
colleges. Units and colleges may employ additional
instruments separately from the university standard.
Current Task Force Formed
In April of 2014, ECS appointed a task force
charged with recommending:
1. A common student evaluation form
2. Guidelines concerning the use of the form
3. An implementation procedure.
Their report to ECS is due in December, 2014.
Task Force Members
The task force is comprised of people
who have expertise in test and
measurement, statistics, technology,
performance rating, and teaching
You can find their names on the USETI
Research about Student Ratings of
It is one of the most studied aspects of
college teaching; there are currently over
3,000 citations.
We relied heavily on reviews of the
literature for research information.
Links to this material are posted on the
USETI Website
Research About Consistency
Starting at mid-career, student ratings for
an instructor in a particular course
remain fairly stable over time if a valid
instrument is used.
Individual student ratings of an instructor
remain the same five years after
Research About Validity…
Student ratings do measure learning – in
multi-section courses that use a common
final exam, students of teachers with
higher ratings do better on the exam.
Students do separate the teacher from
the course when rating.
Factors That Are Associated With
Lower Numerical Ratings
◦ Teachers of math and science courses are
rated lower than teachers of humanities
◦ Teachers of lower-level courses are rated
lower than teachers of higher-level courses.
◦ Teachers of required classes are rated lower
than teachers of elective classes.
Factors That Are Not Consistently
or Strongly Related to Ratings
◦ Gender of student or instructor
◦ Time of day class is taught
◦ How many majors are in the course
◦ The scholarly output of the instructor
Factors Not Consistently or
Strongly Related continued…
 Assigning
higher grades does not result
in better evaluations. Hundreds of
studies have examined this issue; the
average correlation across studies is
Note: The difficulty of the course actually
has a POSITIVE relationship with higher
What Can Be Learned From
Student Ratings
Student ratings can serve as a useful global
indicator of teaching effectiveness.
Students are qualified to rate how much
they learned in a course.
Students are qualified to rate observable
teacher behaviors, such as clarity, fairness,
organization, presentation skills, etc.
The Limits of Student Ratings
Student ratings cannot precisely or completely
appraise teacher effectiveness.
Student ratings of teaching inherently contain
error; they are a form of performance appraisal,
and as such, are susceptible to all the known rater
Students cannot accurately evaluate all important
aspects of teaching. For example, students are
not qualified to evaluate instructor knowledge or
depth of subject coverage.
What’s Next…
As charged by ECS, by the end of December, 2014,
the task force will:
Recommend an instrument for adoption by all units
at GVSU. Only instruments with established
reliability and validity are being considered.
Recommend a method of delivery.
Recommend parameters addressing the use of
student ratings.
Recommend an implementation plan.
What’s Next continued:
ECS and UAS will consider, discuss, and
vote on these recommendations.
Available Resources
The task force has constructed a website
about student ratings of teaching and its
You can also contact Ed Aboufadel, Chair

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