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An evaluation of course evaluations

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      Abstract

      Student ratings of teaching have been used, studied, and debated for almost a century. This article examines student ratings of teaching from a statistical perspective. The common practice of relying on averages of student teaching evaluation scores as the primary measure of teaching effectiveness for promotion and tenure decisions should be abandoned for substantive and statistical reasons: There is strong evidence that student responses to questions of “effectiveness” do not measure teaching effectiveness. Response rates and response variability matter. And comparing averages of categorical responses, even if the categories are represented by numbers, makes little sense. Student ratings of teaching are valuable when they ask the right questions, report response rates and score distributions, and are balanced by a variety of other sources and methods to evaluate teaching.

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      Most cited references 32

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      Half a minute: Predicting teacher evaluations from thin slices of nonverbal behavior and physical attractiveness.

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        Making students' evaluations of teaching effectiveness effective: The critical issues of validity, bias, and utility.

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          Student ratings: The validity of use.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1]Department of Statistics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
            [2]Center for Teaching and Learning, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
            Author notes
            [*]Corresponding author's e-mail address: stark@123456stat.berkeley.edu
            Contributors
            (View ORCID Profile)
            Journal
            SOR-EDU
            ScienceOpen Research
            ScienceOpen
            2199-1006
            29 September 2014
            : 0 (ID: 42e6aae5-246b-4900-8015-dc99b467b6e4)
            : 0
            : 1-7
            1826:XE
            10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EDU.AOFRQA.v1
            © 2014 P. B. Stark and R. Freishtat.

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

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            Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 35, Pages: 7
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