Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Asking students about teaching
Here's another installment (see here for link to earlier one) on the effectiveness of student teaching evaluations in discerning effective teaching. It seems that the relation between the two are tenuous. This does not imply that such evaluations are without merit. As the linked to post notes: "Students are arguable in the best position to judge certain aspects of teaching that contribute to effectiveness, such as clarity, pace, legibility audibility...". However, teaching evaluations may well track something else, e.g. grade expectations, enjoyment, physical attractiveness, age, ethnicity. Given the increasing centrality of student questionnaires in faculty evaluation and course restructuring it would be nice to have indices that measure what we want them to. I confess to being skeptical that such measures are easy to devise. It seems pretty clear that what we have in place is wanting.