Student Evaluations of Teachers “Flawed but Fixable”

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on research by Anthony G. Greenwald, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington. Some tidbits from his research:

* “At best, student ratings provide a weak measure of instructional quality”

* “70 percent of the variance in departments’ average course-evaluation scores could be explained by differences in students’ grades. In departments where professors’ grading was more rigorous, students’ evaluation scores were lower”

* “The most reasonable use of student evaluations, Mr. Greenwald said, is to identify instructors at the extreme ends of the spectrum”

Some previous posts on the topic of student evaluations of professors:

* Law Professor Tampers with Student Evaluations

* Merritt on Teaching Evaluations

* One professor’s testimony of how she inflated grades to improve her tenure candidacy

* Sexy professors are better professors (?)

* Are You Hot or Not?, Academic Style

* Tenured Canadian Professor Fired for Posting Comments to