Re-evaluating student evaluation of teaching

November 3, 2014

Academica Group President Rod Skinkle attended the recent conference of the Canadian Institutional Research and Planning Association (CIRPA) to present findings from new research into student evaluation of teaching (SET). Academica reviewed the evaluation forms from 15 Ontario colleges and found that while there was some thematic consensus, there was little common ground on the scales or language used to evaluate faculty. Moreover, Academica’s research indicated that few institutions are doing much in the way of data consolidation or trend analysis of evaluations. Academica suggests that institutions would benefit from the use of a more portable evaluation instrument that could be used across faculties and programs; they also recommend that institutions consider implementing an electronic form to reduce processing time and to help generate on-demand, meaningful reports that can help facilitate constructive feedback. “This is a missed opportunity,” said Skinkle. “When implemented as part of a more comprehensive teacher evaluation framework, SET can provide a highly useful perspective for students, faculty, and administrators alike.” Academica Blog