Proceedings of the New York State Economics Association


What Were They Thinking: Can Student Responses to Teaching Evaluation Instruments Reveal the Qualities of an Effective Instructor?

William P. O'Dea

vol. 6, October 2013, p. 156-163


The object is to develop a set of simple metrics that department chairs can use to evaluate the data generated by the student evaluation of instruction (SEI) instruments used by their departments. I am operating on the premise that department chairs typically inherit an SEI instrument they had no hand in designing. The instrument may in fact be poorly designed. Even if the instrument is not statistically reliable, the faculty may still resist replacing it with a better alternative. At my institution, the Committee on Instruction spent several years and engaged in two pilot studies to produce a more reliable SEI instrument. Union opposition prevented the adoption of the new instrument. Department chairs are thus in the unenviable position of having to extract the maximum possible meaning from data generated by what could be viewed as a haphazardly designed research project.


suggested citation:

William P. O'Dea. "What Were They Thinking: Can Student Responses to Teaching Evaluation Instruments Reveal the Qualities of an Effective Instructor?." Proceedings of the New York State Economics Association. vol. 6, October 2013, p. 156-163

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