Proceedings of the New York State Economics Association


A Chair's Guide to Student Evaluations of Teaching

William P. O'Dea

vol. 3, September 2010, p. 115-126


This paper attempts to analyze the factors that influence student evaluations of teaching effectiveness. Thestudent evaluation instrument at SUNY-Oneonta contains thirteen items. The thirteenth item is summative and asks the students to provide an "overall evaluation of teaching effectiveness." The first twelve items represent the different qualities that a good teacher should possess. Using ordinary least squares analysis, we find that 96 percent of the variation in the summative "overall effectiveness" item can be explained by the twelve qualities of good teaching. Adding additional variables such as the instructor's gender, years of experience and grade distribution does not improve the model's explanatory power and none of these variables are statistically significant. The results indicate that our students value instructors who deliver well-organized lectures, answer questions clearly and are available for consultation. Importantly, the results show that our students do not penalize faculty members who are rigorous and maintain demanding grading standards.


suggested citation:

William P. O'Dea. "A Chair's Guide to Student Evaluations of Teaching." Proceedings of the New York State Economics Association. vol. 3, September 2010, p. 115-126

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