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What should a teacher do with teacher evaluations?

Chris Perryer, Robyn Honey and Catherine Jordan
The University of Western Australia
Educators often seek to obtain feedback on their teaching by way of a formal questionnaire that asks students to rate the performance of the teacher and the unit on a scale of 1 to 5. Typically, students also have the option of providing additional comments. This feedback is usually obtained towards the end of the course.

Although some teachers pay little attention to this feedback, many others attempt to improve their teaching by focusing on those areas where they have not performed well, and by integrating the suggestions of their students into their subsequent teaching programs. This is not always easy to do, since one student may comment favourably upon an aspect of the teacher or unit while another student finds that aspect unsatisfactory.

Once a decision is made to improve teaching through analysing student feedback, it is not always easy to know where to start. Perhaps some kind of framework is needed within which to analyse student feedback and develop an appropriate action plan for improvement.

Such a plan might incorporate a range of strategies including informal early feedback, student focus groups, some form of teaching benchmarking, or educational development.

Some of the issues that need to be considered are:

In this session these and other issues will be canvassed, in order to establish a flexible framework for the collection and use of student feedback that is palatable to the teacher and beneficial to students.
Contact person: Chris Perryer, Lecturer, Graduate School of Management, The University of Western Australia. cperryer@ecel.uwa.edu.au

Presentation format: Dilemmas in teaching or teaching/learning research

Please cite as: Perryer, C., Honey, R. and Jordan, C. (2002). What should a teacher do with teacher evaluations? In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/perryer-abs.html

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Created 9 Dec 2001. Last revision: 2 Feb 2002. HTML: Roger Atkinson [ rjatkinson@bigpond.com ]