Have you ever wondered how to make student evaluations more useful as tools to improve your teaching? The November 2004 issue of The Teaching Professor reports on the research findings of S. E. Hampton and R. Reiser who compared the effectiveness in improving teaching of student evaluations alone vs. the same evaluations combined with a 90-minute consultation with a colleague. Their findings were as follows :

  • Mid-course rating feedback coupled with consultation increased the frequency with which instructors engaged in specific practices (see below) proven to correlate highly with student satisfaction and achievement

     

  • End-of-course ratings of teaching effectiveness were significantly higher for those instructors who received mid-course feedback and consultation

     

  • Their data was also strongly suggestive that these same behaviors improved student learning and student motivation. What were the instructional activities that increased with mid-course evaluation and consultation, the activities so highly correlated with student satisfaction?

     

  • Here are all six :
    1. motivating students
    2. informing students of objectives
    3. helping students recall prerequisite knowledge
    4. presenting information and examples
    5. providing practice and feedback
    6. summarizing the lesson