Student course evaluations are unloved creatures. But several projects around the country are trying to develop new evaluation forms that more accurately capture how a particular instructor contributes to students' learning. Below are sample questions from four projects:
The IDEA Center's System
a.First, the instructor customizes the form by indicating which of 12 learning objectives were most important to the course. Three examples of what the instructor could evaluate are below:
Scale: M = Minor or no importance. I=Important. E=Essential.
M I E
Gaining factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trends)
Learning to apply course material (to improve problem-solving, thinking, and decisions)
Developing skill in expressing oneself orally or in writing.
b.Then the students are asked to fill out a 47-item questionnaire. When the surveys are scored, the system automatically places the most weight on the items that correspond to the learning objectives that the instructor deemed "essential."
Describe the frequency of your instructor's teaching procedures, using the following code:
Displayed a personal interest in students and their learning
Stimulated the students to intellectual effort beyond that required by most courses
Provided timely and frequent feedback on tests, reports, projects, etc., to help students improve
Student Assessment of Learning Gains
The SALG is customizable, so the number of questions varies.
How much did each of the following aspects of the class help your learning?
1=Was of no help 2=Helped a little 3=Helped 4=Helped a good deal 5=Helped a great deal
the pace at which we worked
discussions in class
hands-on lab activities
teamwork in labs
Teaching and Learning Quality Instrument
This survey, being tested at Indiana U. at Bloomington, features 40 items, including the following:
Rate your agreement with these statements, according to the following scale:
1=Strongly disagree 2=Disagree 3=Undecided 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree
In this course I solved a variety of authentic problems that were organized from simple to complex.
In this course I was not able to draw upon my past experience or relate it to new things I was learning.
My instructor gave examples and counter-examples of concepts I was expected to learn.
I had opportunities to practice or try out what I learned in this course.
This course was a waste of time and money.
U. of North Texas Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness Form
This is a 28-item survey, which uses a 5-point agree/disagree scale that is identical to the TALQ's, above.
My instructor communicates at a level that I can understand.
My instructor creates an atmosphere in which ideas can be exchanged freely.
My instructor gives assignments that are stimulating to me.