Caveat: These student assessments are not validated measures of teacher effectiveness. Comparisons and conclusions about the relative skill of different instructor's should never be based solely on this limited information.
What is this report? This report contains results of student assessments of instruction for one instructor for one course section taught by that instructor. This information provides you with one source of information for selecting courses. Also helpful in your decision-making would be a meeting with your academic advisor, examining course syllabi, and talking with instructors.
Which courses were evaluated? The full report includes all courses taught during the Spring and Fall semester in one calendar year. Certain courses were excluded based up their nontraditional structures and limited enrollment. Please note that if an instructor taught more than one section of the same course, results need to be reported for only one of those sections.
How are the tables interpreted? Tables in this report contain the following course information: Department, Course Title and Number, Section Number, Instructor Name, Semester and Year, and Course Enrollment. In addition, they summarize students' responses to the eight items for which results are provided.
For each course listed, the percent of students reporting, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor are shown for each item as well as the percent not responding to each item. The numbers appearing below each option show the percentage of student selection of each option, NOT the number of students.
How can these data be used? Students should be careful and thoughtful when interpreting these data. First, enough students must respond to provide and adequate representation of all students enrolled in a class for data to be meaningful. Further, these data may reveal as much about diversity of learning style preferences found in university classrooms as they reveal about the diversity of student reactions to instructors' different teaching styles.
Though students are good sources of some types of information about instructors, research has also shown that students' assessments of instructors can be influenced by a number of factors outside of an instructor's immediate control. These factors can include class size (small classes tend to be rated higher than large classes), course level (upper level courses may be rated higher than lower-level courses), discipline (courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences tend to receive higher ratings than courses in Engineering, Math, and the Sciences), instructor rank (faculty tend to receive higher ratings than graduate teaching assistants), and students' reasons for enrolling in the course (elective courses tend to receive higher ratings than required courses). Readers should consider such influences on published data when reviewing these tables.Most important, readers should remember that simplistic numerical comparisons between courses or instructors are not recommended. For example, in a class having 20 respondents, each student's opinion will have a weight of 5%; in a class of 200 respondents, however, each student's opinion will have a weight of only one-half of 1%. Similarly, one instructor may be rated Excellence by 74% of his or her students and a second instructor may be rated Excellent by 68%, this difference may not have statistical significance or practical importance when selecting courses. In short, as noted above, these student assessments are not validated measures of teacher effectiveness comparisons and conclusions about the relative skill of different instructors should never be based solely on this limited information.
Updated 06/25/13 cdw
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