ERIC Number: ED212251
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar-26
Reference Count: 0
Departmental Differences in Student Perceptions of 'Ideal' Teaching.
Kaufman, Brian J.
Departmental differences in student perceptions of teaching effectiveness were measured using behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS). The 495 college students were taking junior and senior level courses in art, business, computer science, French, psychology, and sociology. Each subject completed either the BARS or a simple summated scale, both of which contained the same dimensions, and students were asked to give ratings for the teacher that they would consider ideal for the course. Art majors rated the ideal teacher lower on fairness than did psychology or computer science majors. Art students differed most from psychology students on the grading accuracy dimension. On the dimension of knowledge and preparation, sociology majors rated the ideal teacher much lower than did computer science majors. The group differences appear to have some practical value for aiding in the interpretation of student evaluations of teaching. The subjective nature of fine arts would lead art majors to be suspect of attempts by teachers to grade them accurately and without bias. On the other hand, psychology deals so extensively with topics of testing and bias, and since psychology and computer science are involved with statistical methods, students in those areas would be likely to expect more accurate and fair grading practices from their teachers. Since the field of sociology is so broad, sociology students may not expect the teacher to have a very thorough knowledge of any particular topics in that area. However, computer science students may wish the teacher to be well prepared to answer specific questions related to study assignments. The problem of comparing instructors across departments, and implications for tenure decisions are noted. (SW)
Descriptors: Achievement Rating, Art, Business, College Faculty, Comparative Analysis, Competence, Computer Science, Departments, French, Grading, Higher Education, Intellectual Disciplines, Knowledge Level, Majors (Students), Psychology, Rating Scales, Sociology, Student Attitudes, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Teacher Effectiveness, Undergraduate Students
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (Atlanta, GA, March 26, 1981).