ERIC Number: ED422384
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Course Evaluation by Students: The Relationship of Instructional Characteristics to Overall Course Quality.
Althouse, Linda Akel; Stritter, Frank T.; Strong, Douglas E.; Mattern, William B.
Student ratings of teaching effectiveness and course quality are widely used to evaluate most university courses. This study investigated the relationship of medical students' ratings of basic science course characteristics to their overall evaluation of these courses. Whether the relationship was similar across basic science courses, and whether course year has an impact on the instructional characteristics students used in making their judgments of overall course quality were also studied. Approximately 160 first-year and 160 second-year medical students were asked to evaluate basic science courses (14 first-year and 16 second-year), for a total of 3,117 individual evaluations made with an instrument developed for the curriculum evaluation process at the medical school. Sixteen instructional items were examined as predictor variables. While 10 of the 16 predictors emerged as significant characteristics using a hierarchical linear modeling calculation, the most dominant predictors clearly were students' ratings on the administrative aspects of a course and the quality of the lectures. Following closely behind these items was the extent to which students felt the course promoted active learning. Other variables also asserted significant influence, although different predictors emerged for each course. These finding suggest that no one student rating item will be useful for all purposes, although when they are combined, a sense of overall course quality can be obtained. (Contains 5 tables and 15 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).