Generative evaluation of instruction in an Honors College, using small group instructional diagnosis : more than dots on a page Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/m039k903s

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  • Instruction in a University Honors College was evaluated using Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID), a qualitative evaluation process. Fifty-one class sections were evaluated over a three-year period to determine what worked to help students learn, what did not work, and suggestions for improvement. Seven instructors used both SGID and an Honors College short-answer (not optical scanner) written evaluation form. Results of SGID and written remarks were compared for these seven. After using SGID for three years, using surveys and interviews, the honors students, honors faculty, and honors administration were asked methodological questions about SGID: what worked, did not work, and suggestions for improvement about the SGID process itself, compared to the written form. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method for qualitative data. Results suggest that students are highly satisfied with their honors classes, especially the small size, discussion and group formats, flexibility, user-friendly physical aspects of the learning environment, and personal attributes of their instructors. Students expressed dissatisfaction when they perceived inflexibility, uncertainty about grades, and inappropriate level of difficulty, pace, and workload. Written forms indicated more expressions of concern about grades and difficulty than did the SGID remarks. The unit of analysis for SGID is the class; for the written form it is the individual. Both faculty and students liked the consensus voice produced by SGID, but said it took too long and muffled the individual student voice. A conditional matrix was constructed, using data from participant observation in the Honors College, from serving on a Faculty Senate Task Force on Evaluation of Teaching, from interactions with the University Legal Advisor, and determining the salient laws of the State of Oregon, to connect the research within the subculture of the Honors College, the home departments of the honors instructors, the university, and the state, to examine their impact upon course evaluation in the Honors College. Tensions among these are noted, with respect to the purpose and practice of instructional evaluation.
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