Date: Nov 27, 2012 12:37 PM
Author: Richard Hake
Subject: The Value of Student Evaluations of Teaching

Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in a recent post 
"The Value of Student Evaluations of Teaching" [Hake (2012)]. The
abstract reads:

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ABSTRACT: Bill Brescia of the DrEd list wrote: "We are looking for
best practices to solicit student feedback on the teaching quality of
individual faculty members where in some cases a fairly large number
of faculty are involved in a single course. What mechanism do you use
to survey the students?"

The value of student evaluations is a hotly contested topic, witness
the 496,000 hits at <http://bit.ly/TqEilE> generated by a Google
search for "Student Evaluations" (with the quotes) on 26 Nov 2012
12:58-0800.

Judging from my own experience, and after careful consideration of
the above hits, my opinion is that:

a. Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET's) are useful for gauging
the *affective* impact of teaching, but are worse than useless for
gauging the *cognitive* impact - see e.g. "Student Evaluations of
Teaching Are Not Valid Gauges of Teaching Performance - Yet Again!"
[Hake (2012)] at <http://bit.ly/KGK687>

b. The cognitive impact of teaching is best measured by average
normalized pre-to-post-test gains on "Concept Inventories"
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concept_inventory> - see e.g., "The
Impact of Concept Inventories On Physics Education and It's Relevance
For Engineering Education" [Hake (2011)] at <http://bit.ly/nmPY8F>.
*******************************************

To access the complete 6 kB post please click on <http://bit.ly/XX7OUX>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>
Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs: <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M>
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Blog: <http://bit.ly/9yGsXh>
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REFERENCES [URL shortened by <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on 26 Nov 2012.]
Hake, R.R. 2012. "The Value of Student Evaluations of Teaching"
online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/XX7OUX>. Post
of 26 Nov 2012 13:35:35-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and
link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion
lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at
<http://bit.ly/TqLDls> with a provision for comments.