Approaches to evaluating teacher effectiveness: by Laura Goe

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Author
Laura Goe
Publisher
National Center for Comprensive Teacher Quality
Date of release
Pages
103
ISBN
0
Binding
ebook
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
4
46

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Book review

Student ratings of instruction (SRI) in higher education, often referred to as student evaluation of teaching (SET) or teacher evaluation by students, are a most frequently researched and discussed issue in American educational literature. Every year, dozens of new publications claim to “prove” that SRIs are unreliable and invalid, leading faculty and administrators to question the appropriateness of using SRIs to guide personnel decisions. This book addresses problems related to in-class and online SRIs regarding instrument design, operation, reporting, interpretation, and application. It aims to provide information about promoting SRI reliability and validity in regard to these issues. Target audiences are academic administrators and administrative staff—deans, heads of schools, department chairs, SRI system designers and operators, members of P&T committees, committees for nominating teachers for awards, and others who wish to base their design, operations, interpretations, and decisions on reliable and valid knowledge of SRI systems. The book may also be of interest for faculty and faculty developers attempting to understand how SRI systems should work, and for researchers studying issues related to SRIs. The book presents theories of effective teaching that may serve as a foundation for instrument design, and suggests beneficial policies and procedures for the design of valid instruments, and for proper survey operation and reporting of results using comparison groups. All these are essential component of SRI reliability and validity. Inappropriate design, operation, data analysis, reporting, interpreting, and applying could reduce the benefits of using SRI results for promoting teaching, and may lead to inadequate personnel decisions by administrators and committees that could hurt faculty careers. These possible negative consequences may produce strong resistance by faculty to participating in SRIs. The book provides samples and templates for a variety of types of reports designed for faculty, administrators, and committees. The templates aim to make the reports user friendly so as to facilitate interpretation, drawing conclusions, and making decisions. Additional policies and procedures are suggested for mandatory or selective SRI participation of courses, midterm SRI feedback (formative evaluation), online access to reports of SRI results by faculty and administrators, nonintrusive publicizing of SRI results to students and the public, and strategies for improving teaching on the basis of SRI results. A special chapter presents arguments in favor of online over in-class paper SRIs and suggests answers to faculty and administrator concerns about online ratings, as well as methods for increasing online response rates. The book incorporates the scholarship of a wide range of researchers and practitioners, including the author’s own accumulated knowledge and experience throughout over 30 years of research and practice in this domain. Because this book is designed for administrators and faculty members of a wide spectrum of institutions and academic domains, the content is designed to be simple and intuitive, with no professional jargon or knowledge, so as to make reading easy and smooth for the entire range of target readers. The book also provides simple illustrations of many of the main issues involved, based on studies implemented by the author. These illustrations are often demonstrated through tables and graphs. This book complements another book by the same author that is being published concurrently: Student Ratings of Instruction: Recognizing Effective Teaching. Nonetheless, it can be read independently of the other book. The two books jointly integrate and summarize the conclusions of the major relevant research and publications on student ratings to date, and constitute a reasonably comprehensive overview of the main theoretical and practical issues related to SRIs in higher education.


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