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Using student evaluations to improve individual and department teaching qualities

Author

Listed:
  • Mary R Hedges

    (University of Auckland)

  • Don Webber

    () (University of the West of England, Bristol)

Abstract

Student evaluations can be seen as an opportunity for students to vent their views on the quality of teaching that they receive, and sometimes instructors trivialise the importance of this information exchange opportunity. This paper takes student evaluations of teaching quality seriously and highlights that the information can be used more effectively. It illustrates how information from evaluations can be used to identify areas where the whole department has strengths and weaknesses and where individual instructors perform relative to their own department. This information can be used to identify individuals with specific areas of expertise and shape best practice within departments, across departments and/or across institutions. It can also be used to highlight individuals who may require further training and reveal areas of mediocrity that are at risk of intervention from a higher level. Finally, it suggests ways to implement shared best practice in order to improve department teaching quality assessment results and individual teaching performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary R Hedges & Don Webber, 2012. "Using student evaluations to improve individual and department teaching qualities," Working Papers 20121205, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:20121205
    as

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    File URL: http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/faculties/BBS/BUS/Research/economics2012/1205.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Parker, Amy, 2005. "Beauty in the classroom: instructors' pulchritude and putative pedagogical productivity," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 369-376, August.
    2. Michael A. McPherson, 2006. "Determinants of How Students Evaluate Teachers," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 3-20, January.
    3. Langbein, Laura, 2008. "Management by results: Student evaluation of faculty teaching and the mis-measurement of performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 417-428, August.
    4. Peter Davies & Ross Guest, 2010. "What effect do we really have on students' understanding and attitudes? How do we know?," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 9(1), pages 6-9.
    5. Paul Isely & Harinder Singh, 2005. "Do Higher Grades Lead to Favorable Student Evaluations?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 29-42, January.
    6. Richard Sabot & John Wakeman-Linn, 1991. "Grade Inflation and Course Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 159-170, Winter.
    7. Ewing, Andrew M., 2012. "Estimating the impact of relative expected grade on student evaluations of teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 141-154.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Student evaluations; Buddy schemes; Centres of teaching excellence;

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate

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