An investigation of the relationships between student evaluations and faculty, class, and student demographic variables in rating instructional effectiveness Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ms35tc246

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  • The purpose of this study was to analyze and interpret the results of fall term student ratings of faculty teaching performance (n= 40,000) in order to determine whether relationships exist between a range of demographic variables and the ratings professors receive from students enrolled in their classes. A population of 645 full-time faculty and 273 teaching assistants from 11 colleges across Oregon State University were evaluated in fall term 1989-1990 by students who completed the university's Student Assessment of Teaching Instrument (SATI). The results from an analysis of demographic variables and faculty ratings revealed that students rated faculty significantly different in major and non-major courses. No differences were found between faculty ratings and student variables of GPA, expected grade, and percent of classroom attendance. Overall faculty ratings in large and small classes were not significantly different, although differences were found on several SATI instructional dimensions. Students in large classes rated faculty higher on clearly presenting course objectives/requirements, being well prepared and organized, clearly presenting subject matter concepts, and relevancy of examinations. Faculty in small classes received the highest ratings on the sensitivity of the instructor to student understanding material presented in class, or having more opportunity for student/faculty interaction. Statistical differences were found between graduate and undergraduate ratings of faculty teaching performance. Freshman class level in undergraduate courses and graduate students gave significantly higher faculty ratings than other levels. Significant gender differences were also found in student ratings of faculty in the Colleges of Engineering and Home Economics. Female faculty in Engineering received significantly higher ratings than male faculty by male students. Conversely, male faculty in Home Economics received significantly higher ratings than female faculty by female students. There was no significant difference between tenure status and faculty ratings; however a difference did appear when tenure was compared with faculty productivity rates (publications in refereed journals). No significant differences were found between publication rates and faculty rank. Differences in faculty publication rates appeared when gender of the faculty was analyzed. There was no significant difference between teaching performance ratings for all academic ranks of full-time faculty and non-international teaching assistants (NITAs). Statistical differences were noted for international teaching assistants (ITAs) and all academic ranks. Significant difference were found between NITAs and ITAs overall ratings as well as along several instructional dimensions of the SATI.
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