ERIC Number: EJ1055239
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Uses and Misuses of Student Evaluations of Teaching: The Interpretation of Differences in Teaching Evaluation Means Irrespective of Statistical Information
Boysen, Guy A.
Teaching of Psychology, v42 n2 p109-118 Apr 2015
Student evaluations of teaching are among the most accepted and important indicators of college teachers' performance. However, faculty and administrators can overinterpret small variations in mean teaching evaluations. The current research examined the effect of including statistical information on the interpretation of teaching evaluations. Study 1 (N = 121) showed that faculty members interpreted small differences between mean course evaluations even when confidence intervals and statistical tests indicated the absence of meaningful differences. Study 2 (N = 183) showed that differences labeled as nonsignificant still influenced perceptions of teaching qualifications and teaching ability. The results suggest the need for increased emphasis on the use of statistics when presenting and interpreting teaching evaluation data.
Descriptors: Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Effectiveness, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, College Faculty, College Students, Teacher Qualifications, Statistical Analysis, Rating Scales, Vignettes, Data Interpretation, Surveys
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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