Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Effective Evaluation of Teaching: A Guide for Faculty and Administrators

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ISBN: 978-1-941804-24-7  

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Table of Contents

  1. Conducting Research on Student Evaluations of Teaching
    William E. Addison & Jeffrey R. Stowell, Eastern Illinois University
    The long and productive history of research on student evaluations of teaching (SETs) can be traced to the early 1920s. Following a summary of this history, we examine the methodologies and findings in four broad areas of research: reliability studies; validity studies; factor analyses; and investigations involving course, instructor, and student variables that have been examined for their possible influence on SETs. Additionally, we discuss methodological concerns and ethical issues associated with research in this area, and briefly describe several directions for future research.
  2. Choosing an Instrument for Student Evaluation of Instruction
    Jared W. Keeley, Mississippi State University
    Student evaluations of instruction (SEIs) have become ubiquitous in the college classroom. The purpose of this chapter is to aid individuals in selecting an SEI to meet their particular evaluative goals. To do so, the chapter will review various considerations regarding the reliability, validity, and factor structure of SEIs and provide examples of publically available and for-pay instruments.
  3. Formative Teaching Evaluations: Is Student Input Useful?
    Janie H. Wilson and Rebecca G. Ryan, Georgia Southern University
    Student evaluations of teaching offer valuable information to teachers who want to improve their teaching. Specifically, formative student evaluations collected prior to the end of a course allow teachers to adjust teaching practices and potentially enhance learning. In this chapter, we discuss several characteristics of teaching evaluations, including content, timing, format, and ways to utilize evaluations effectively.
  4. Using Student Feedback as One Measure of Faculty Teaching Effectiveness
    Maureen A. McCarthy, Kennesaw State University
    Determining how to use Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs) as a measure of teaching effectiveness has been a challenge for faculty and administrators alike. Quantitative measures, interpreted in isolation, provide succinct data that have the greatest potential for misinterpretation. In this chapter I provide recommendations for how to use both quantitative and qualitative feedback to improve instruction and to evaluate faculty effectiveness.
  5. Bias in Student Evaluations
    Susan A. Basow and Julie L. Martin, Lafayette College
    In this chapter, potential biasing factors in student evaluations of professors are examined.  Because white male professors are the norm, faculty members who are female or who are from other racial/ethnic groups appear to be held to a higher or double standard of performance,  Professor attractiveness ratings and age also affect student ratings, as do such course variables as expected grade.  For example, higher expected grades are positively correlated with evaluations, even more so than actual grades.  These findings should make us cautious in using student ratings as an unbiased measure of teaching effectiveness.
  6. On-line Measures of Student Evaluation of Instruction
    Cheryll M. Adams Ball State University
    In recent years, more institutions of higher education (IHE) have moved from paper and pencil surveys to online evaluations of instruction (Avery, Bryant, Mathios, Kang, & Bell, 2006). This practice has not eliminated the controversies such as whether students can effectively evaluate an instructor’s teaching,  but instead has brought new ones to the forefront. The advantages of using online evaluations include cost-effectiveness, more time for responding, and faster feedback to faculty. The trade off, in general, is a lower response rate for the evaluations. This chapter addresses research about online measures of instruction. The pros and con of using online measures of instruction instead of traditional paper and pencil measures are reviewed and recommendations are offered for using online measures of instruction effectively.
  7. What’s the Story on Evaluations of Online Teaching?
    Michelle Drouin, Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne
    As online teaching has gained popularity in the last decade, evaluations designed specifically for online teaching have begun to emerge. In this chapter, I give an overview of some of the most popular self, peer, and student evaluations of online teaching. I also discuss the different approaches to teaching outlined by Anderson & Dron (2011) (i.e., cognitive behavioral, social-constructivist, and connectivist) and give recommendations for rubrics that align with these different pedagogical approaches.
  8. Using Course Portfolios to Assess and Improve Teaching
    Paul Schafer, Elizabeth Yost Hammer, Jason Berntsen, Xavier University of Louisiana
    This article describes how course portfolios can be used for both formative and summative assessments of teaching, and explains the difference between “teaching” and “course” portfolios.  The article then details the successful Course Portfolio Working Group program at Xavier University of Louisiana, emphasizing the effectiveness of the program for the assessment and improvement of teaching.  Practical advice is provided to assist individuals and institutions in the development of similar programs.
  9. Peer Review of Teaching
    Emad A. Ismail, William Buskist, and James E. Groccia, Auburn University
    This chapter describes a formative model of peer review in which faculty observe other faculty teach in order to provide constructive feedback on their teaching. We outline a five- step process for peer review that includes a preclassroom visitation meeting, classroom observation of teaching, solicitation of student feedback, preparation of a written report, and a postclassroom visitation meeting with the teacher to provide formative feedback. We also address several questions and concerns that faculty often raise about peer review of college and university teaching.

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Suggested Reference Format

We suggest that the overall text be referenced in this fashion:
Kite, M. E. (2012). Effective evaluation of teaching: A guide for faculty and administrators. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:

Individual chapters may be referenced in this fashion, for example:
Addison, W. E., & Stowell, J. R. (2012). Conducting research on student evaluations of teaching. In M.E. Kite (Ed.), Effective evaluation of teaching: A guide for faculty and administrators. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:

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