The Role of Institutional Research in Student Evaluations of Teaching. AIR 1998 Annual Forum Paper.Report as inadecuate

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This paper examines the role played by an office of institutional research in developing a new student evaluation of teaching protocol. At Southeastern Louisiana University, a comprehensive 4-year public institution, the administration appointed a campus-wide committee to study the student evaluations of teaching and to make recommendations for improvement. Nine aspects of the process were examined, including the philosophy behind the evaluations; prior years' evaluations; computerized data reporting; confidentiality issues; administrative and personal use of results; whether or not evaluations were mandatory; and evaluation of nontraditional classes. In fall 1995 a new evaluation instrument was pilot-tested, refined, and administered to 43 class sections (n=l,100), following which interviews were conducted with five classes. Following distribution of pilot data, six faculty members were interviewed in depth. The final report was presented to the faculty committee charged with developing the final instrument, which was developed with the help of analyses provided by the institutional research department. In fall 1997, implementation of the student evaluations of teaching program was transferred to the institutional research office, thus ensuring continuing quality of the instrument. Appended are the pilot-test questionnaire, a response form, interview protocols, suggestions for evaluating pilot data, and copies of the current instrument. (CH)

Descriptors: College Instruction, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Institutional Role, Questionnaires, State Universities, Student Attitudes, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Student Relationship

Author: Hall, Michelle; Baldwin, Beatrice


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