Some Concerns about Student Feedback & Evaluation
On the other hands there are some reservations towards student ratings on grounds of uncertainty as to how students rate teaching performance and how ratings apply in ‘tenure and promotion decisions’. In other words, at times we may think that students’ evaluation is not reliable and evaluation is used for judgmental purposes (the assessment of teachers) not for developmental purposes.
Researchers also remark cultural differences that may come into play when students are asked to give feedback. Ting (1998) underlines the reflection of educational culture on students’ rating, focusing on changing concepts which also relate to Turkish educational context such as paternalistic authority, unconditional respect on teachers which assumes that students are not expected to criticize their teachers. However many educators think that teachers may have confidence in students’ rating of teaching performance if there is a clear understanding of its meaning. In my opinion this means learner training in giving feedback.
What does research say about reliability of student evaluation?
Some studies (Ware & Williams, 1979, 1980) suggest that students prioritize entertainment and generosity of given grades while judging teaching performance and rating their learning experience.
However many studies conclude that sources of such biases do not pose threats to the overall validity of student ratings (Costin et al 1971; Marsh 1980).
I really believe hat getting feedback from students is beneficial (and I often try to do both formally and informally) but there are some points that should be planned carefully.
What do YOU think about getting feedback from the students? Please share...
Costin, F., Greenough, W.T., & Menges, R.J. (1971), “Student ratings of college teaching: Reliability, validity, and usefulness,” Review of Educational Research, 41(5), pp. 511-535
Marsh, H.W. , Overall J.U & Kessler, S.P. (1979) Journal of Educational Psychology, 71 (2),149-160.
Marsh, H.W. (1980), “Research on students’ evaluations of teaching effectiveness,” Instructional
Evaluation, 4, pp. 5-13.
Ting, K. (1998). Measuring teaching quality in Hong Kong’s higher education: Reliability and validity of student ratings. http://teaching.polyu.edu.hk/datafiles/R51.pdf
Ware, J.E. & Williams, R.G. (1979), “Seeing through the Dr. Fox effect: A response to Frey,” Instructional Evaluation, 3, pp. 6-10.
Ware, J.E. & Williams, R.G. (1980), “A reanalysis of the Doctor Fox experiments,” Instructional
Evaluation, 4, pp. 15-18.
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