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engaging Web 2.0 skills to bridge cultures and classrooms

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 27th March 2014

Stephen Noonoo in his THE JOURNAL article:
Global Collaboration Projects that Go Way Beyond Skype
http://thejournal.com/Articles/2014/03/26/Global-Collaboration-Projects-that-Go-Way-Beyond-Skype.aspx?Page=1#QtGjrl5J4swVCRoI.99

describes the “flattening” of the high school classroom, where students use communication technologies well beyond Skype (Edmodo) to works with peers in real time around the world. The idea of flattening involves peer-to-peer mentoring (Vygotsky’s “zone”) besides high school students growing with the consciousness of growing in a global world.

Those will be the students, who in several years will be entering our (higher ed) environment. Are we ready for them?

Per our older blog entry:
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2014/03/27/who-is-coming-to-college-after-the-millennials/
do we know and understand the students who are coming soon to our classroom?

Posted in learning, teaching | No Comments »

Technology and Teaching: Finding a Balance

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 23rd March 2014

Technology and Teaching: Finding a Balance

http://edtechtimes.com/2014/03/12/technology-teaching-finding-balance/

The future of education lies in a healthy balance between teaching and technology. Digital literacy a the standard language of our world today, writes Andrew Marcinek. “As databases grow and information continues to evolve into paperless formats, it is essential to teach students how to question effectively and efficiently.” In addition, Marcinek advocates for educators to promote and encourage offline activities like socializing and traditional books alongside online learning.

In addition, Marcinek believes that educators should find applications that “promote and strengthen a variety of skill sets for students, not just one or two.” Learning goals and objective should still drive classroom engagement, not tools like devices and applications.

An administrator’s biggest mistake is to make technology seem like a mandated item.

For full story, see Edutopia.

Technology and Teaching: Finding a Balance

MARCH 11, 2014

Andrew MarcinekDirector of Technology & EducatorU.org Co-founder, Boston, MA

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/technology-and-teaching-finding-balance-andrew-marcinek

Posted in Digital literacy, learning, teaching | No Comments »

excellent discusssion for and against students’ group work on LinkedIn’s “The Teaching Professor”

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 23rd March 2014

For those students who hate group work Manager’s Choice

Editor, Faculty FocusTop Contributor

“I’d really rather work alone. . .” Most of us have heard that from a student (or several students) when we assign a group project, particularly one that’s worth a decent amount of the course grade. It doesn’t matter that the project is large,…

  • jasim

    jasim hussein

    Professor of Pediatrics, Consultant Pediatrician at Babylon Medical College, Iraq

    It may be related to shyness, introversion , improper self confidence, phobia or due to little knowlege

    David L.Ron K. and 2 others like this

  • Steve WethingtonSteve

    Steve Wethington

    College Professor at College of the Mainland

    we train students to join the workforce. Team work is key. None of this lone wolf , inner child stuff. You cant be a nurse, a plant worker, someone in business unless you can teamwork……….

    if you want to be an academic , even then you have others in your department , you teach . whether they are shy, introverted makes no difference. We humans are a pack type animal.

    You can make all the esoteric analogies you want. But in this world , its a we world not an I one.

    Art L.David L. like this

  • Alan Dobrowolski, MBAAlan

    Alan Dobrowolski, MBA

    Professor (Adjunct) at Manchester Community College

    With the demographics that I work with, I do not feel that group projects are particularly productive. One thing we must always be sure of before assigning a group project is whether or not doing so supports the objective of the course. That said, a mandatory group project might not be appropriate, say, in an accounting class, where group dynamics and playing well with others is not particularly a focus of the class objective.

    For business classes, I give the option of group vs. individual project – but make it clear that the expectation multiplies by the number of group members. Our students work different schedules and all commute to class – the logistics alone can be overwhelming. Who’s going to watch the kids and the dogs?

    Historically, group projects can be particularly overly stressful for students requiring accommodations and/or are living with physiological or mental health issues. When a group project is assigned, it is incumbent upon the instructor to ensure any such issues are addressed.

    Assigning a group project now also makes us responsible for ensuring that the group functions appropriately, and the role of each group member is clearly identified so that you are able to assess performance. “Free riders” are an inherent reality in group projects, and as with public goods, someone still has to pay the price. (I have used a group project in an economics class – with a student “plant” to demonstrate the “free rider.”)

    Overall, I feel that group projects should only be assigned in a controlled structured environment, otherwise someone will always feel left out. I use scheduled group projects only in classes where doing so meets a course objective, as I feel this is fairest to all of the students.

    Grace T.Shagufta Tahir M. and 5 others like this

  • Brian R MurphyBrian R

    Brian R Murphy

    Professor of Fisheries Science at Virginia Tech

    No doubt the ‘lone wolf’ phenomenon is real, and we as educators have created it. Our educational system has reinforced to students that individual performance is supreme, and that is how they have generally been judged. Students have spent years polishing their capabilities to excel individually, and then suddenly we are saying that they need to not only work effectively in teams, but also figure out how to push team efforts to an excellent level so that their individual grade does not suffer due to below-average performance by other team members. So, first we need to be more consistent in our message(s) to students. We should be talking about critical professional skills (higher-level thinking, problem solving, communication, and teamwork) from the time they enter our university. And our curricula and courses should be designed to help them develop these skills. In the meantime, we should do all that we can to help them be successful in their new and unfamiliar teamwork roles. One way I have tried to reduce surprises and conflicts is to require student teams to develop a team charter before they commence any work. A charter lays out goals and methods for the team, along with expectations for team members and agreement on how conflicts will be resolved. I have students start at this link to learn about the benefits and structure of team charters: http://www.clarosgroup.com/jumpstart.pdf.

    Shagufta Tahir M.Alan D. and 5 others like this

  • Grace Turner Ph.D.Grace

    Grace Turner Ph.D.

    Founder, Clavester University College Ltd; Clicking Connections; Oh Gracie! Sorrel jelly, wine and short stories

    I find that getting students ready for team work is the way to go:

    What it is

    What is expected

    Roles of each member

    Employability factors from the task other than a grade (ie what skills they will learn to transfer to the working world as supervisors or workers)

    Fun

    Social benefits and the like

    I use it often with all my groups as one of the objectives of the courses I write or deliver.

    Dr Turner

    David L.Stephen W. L. and 2 others like this

  • Darrin Thomas, PhDDarrin

    Darrin Thomas, PhD

    Adjunct Lecturer at Asia Pacific International University

    I was one of those students who hated group work. The reason for me at least was because the group would slow me down. Often when people work in groups accountability goes down and people go off task. I remember being in groups were nobody wanted to do the assignment but wanted to socialize. In the real world this is not as bad because people are being employed and paid money so they have some motivation to work together.
    Sadly, there are times were students need to work in groups. However, if I have a student who insist on working alone I tried to make accommodations for them because that student used to be me.

    Ron K.Grace T. like this

  • Shagufta Tahir

    Shagufta Tahir Mufti

    Associate Professor , Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at King Abdulaziz University

    Top Contributor

    I agree with Alan that team projects should be chosen only if they are required to support the ILOs.However although the course may or may not require the team project we should keep in mind that all graduates are sooner or latter going to work outside the institution with people whom they dont know at all.If they are not encouraged to deal with their own familiar peers (at a relatively more flexible stage of their lives) I dont see how we can expect them to demonstrate standard collegiality later on in their careers.So I think team projects do groom our students with culture, grace , dignity and respect above all.It fosters life long professional relationships in which the team members become invested in each others ” development and well-being”

    Yes! a serious challenge to team project is that of ” free riders” because they can potentially annoy and de- motivate delligent students.In my experience there has always been a note of caution in using “team projects ” since team’s performance is difficult to implement which I suppose is about ” performance mangement”.

    This can be addressed by choosing the right design for the project that should be designed in a way that individual efforts are observable and measurable keeping the number of students to small.There are different models of team projects .I think “additive tasks where the individual inputs are added together so that the group productivity is determined by the individual contributions of all group members” are the best .The monitoring can be done by the direct supervision of the facilitator or by peers. We may also indirectly stress the potential for reputational consequences for poor individual effort that may work into motivating their engagement next time.
    Team composition is an important determinant of team performance. Allowing teams to form autonomously with like-minded individuals who have self-selected into the team knowing who they will be working with are likely to perform better.But as an educator I have experienced that learning outcomes are better met with heterogeneity within the team.
    Other way of engaging ” free riders” into teams is by using a mechanism to make the P & P well known to all students at the begining and by continuous monitoring of effort so that at the end they could share in a reward only if there is substantial evidence that they have worked hard enough to deserve it.

    Ron K. likes this

  • Mary BissonMary

    Mary Bisson

    professor at University at Buffalo

    1. complicated schedules. I generate groups with catme.org, which will take into account parameters that you determine (schedules, grades, etc.), allowing you to say what should and should not match, and how important it is, in order to come up with groups. I often modify the groups based on what I know of the individuals, but the main thing they help with is sorting the schedules. There is a catme users group on Linked In.
    2. loafers. When I grade a group project, 1/3 of the grade is the overall project (and each member of the group gets the same grade), 1/3 is for the individuals’ performance (in presentation, answering questions, etc.) and 1/3 of the grade is peer grades. Every student grades the other members of the group. My assessment of the students’ contrubutions, and their peers’ assessment, is usually very close, but being allowed to grade their co-workers gives the student a little bit of feeling of input that helps to deal with the feeling of unfairness in being burdened with an uncooperative group member.

    Frances T.Grace T. and 5 others like this

  • Steve WethingtonSteve

    Steve Wethington

    College Professor at College of the Mainland

    my group projects , except for one, are all where i can observe.

    that being said i hear every semester the “i work better alone or it’s not fair to grade me with a group”

    inevitably i ask them what “field” they are going into? we don’t need sole workers in the fields we ready them for.

    1. the entire group gets the same grade.
    2. all the groups , usually 4 or 5 of 4 or 5 students each, grade each other by student and by group.
    3. everyone has same instructions……build a model for the physical folks, make an oral presentation ,3 to 5 minutes each student, in front of entire class and me, and bring it all together with a written report on the subject of a minimum of 20 pages for a C grade.

    One of our Profs adds this little tidbit……..if after 2 weeks into the 5 week assignment, the team wants to remove someone for lack of commitment or participation, they can vote them off the team.

    BUT they all have to put that in writing AND say why……….AND SIGN IT

    the tossed student can then do the entire project all by themselves………BUT they lose one grade. so from an A to a B for example. WHY? it’s a team project and they know it ahead of time……

    this isn’t Burger King and NO you can’t have everything YOUR own way in work either….

    the other students are harsher graders then i usually turn out to be to….

    David L.Grace T. and 2 others like this

  • Stephen W. LambertStephen W.

    Stephen W. Lambert

    Nonprofit & Community Leader, Educator, Researcher

    I love and concur with Grace’s comments above!

    David L. likes this

  • Robin LaukhufRobin

    Robin Laukhuf

    P-T Faculty at Howard Community College

    I have to admit I never liked team projects at first. I would be one that would rather do it myself and on my time, but with the way the world is today that is not a good idea anymore. You have to be able to work on virtual teams. Employers want to know that students have that skill. I always have the teams fill out an evaluation that I only read on their team members.

  • David

    David Muschell

    Former Professor at Georgia College & State University

    Mary Bisson’s recognition of two flaws of group work, coordinating schedules and accounting for those who “loaf” through the project, is very real. I hated college committees for a third reason: conflicting learning styles (I’m being polite about the clashes). Some need reflection and contemplation before decision-making, others need visual prompts to facilitate understanding, and still others were more interpersonally oriented and needed to talk it over with someone, etc., etc. The notion that our society is “team” oriented is flawed. Most of our organizations are authoritarian, including the law, education, business, and the military. There is someone at the top who makes decisions–a judge, a teacher, a CEO, a general–and those below must follow. Only about 20% of us, on average, actually participate in one of the few “democratic” group activities: Juries.

    My group projects were mainly during class time, during which I broke the large group into smaller ones, conducted an activity, and had a return to the larger group for reporting results.

    Brian Murphy is right about our fostering individual success as the prime focus of our educational evaluation, yet working in groups is important. Learning to subjugate the self for a larger goal involving others is an important awareness, and those who cannot do this become outlaws…or CEOs or professors (being facetious here).

    Shagufta Tahir M.Ron K. like this

  • Rana ZEINE, MD, PhD, MBARana

    Rana ZEINE, MD, PhD, MBA

    Assistant Professor at Saint James School of Medicine

    I have observed marked improvement in group projects after providing the students with a workshop session on the Tuckman Stages of Team Development. Once they understand the causes of the Storming phase, they readily adopt the leadership strategies for moving into the Norming and Performing phases.

    Ron K.Robin L. and 3 others like this

  • Robin LaukhufRobin

    Robin Laukhuf

    P-T Faculty at Howard Community College

    Rana,
    Thanks for the resource. I will look into using that.

  • Ron

    Ron Krate

    Professor and Founder International Professors Project

    Top Contributor

    @David… Why did you not point to Wall street bankers?

  • Ron

    Ron Krate

    Professor and Founder International Professors Project

    Top Contributor

    To date, the lone wolf being more or less in a group, is more or less solvable/unsolvable— without detriment to the wolf or the group

  • David

    David Muschell

    Former Professor at Georgia College & State University

    Tuckman has fun ideas because he rhymes, but the “stage” idea can be misleading since groups don’t always necessarily progress in these phases or the phases overlap. Having taught small group communication at my college, I can say that Tuckman’s (and Jensen) ideas came out of his research in the 60′s and 70′s and have been criticized for “overreaching” when trying to formulate neat stages, but his work has been very influential. Still, consideration of the purpose of the group, its “chemistry,” and the outside pressures guiding it is important. A family discussion at Thanksgiving is very different from small groups of students asked to analyze a short story, or a Senate committee charged with examining a marriage rights bill. Whether they neatly go from Forming to Storming to Norming to Performing is questionable (Tuckman later added “Adjourning” as a fifth stage).

    And Ron, I thought I had pointed to Wall Street bankers when I mentioned outlaws.

    Ron K. likes this

  • Ron

    Ron Bridges

    Biology Professor at Pellissippi State Community College

    To David Muschell,

    You are incorrect about military decision making. While generals (and colonels and majors) do have to make snap decisions in the midst of combat, the planning for combat operations is a lot more group based than most civilians think. The book “Into the Storm’ by General Fred Franks (co-written by Tom Clancy) describes the degree of collaboration between higher and lower levels of command and between adjacent units. The military understands that the best ideas don’t always come from the top. The lower ranking leader is often closer to the action and able to provide a different perspective.

    Nanette W. likes this

  • David

    David Muschell

    Former Professor at Georgia College & State University

    You have to have extreme admiration for Frederick Franks, but saying that the military structure is not authoritarian may overlook the fact that most of the best authoritarian leaders take input from others, especially those closest to the decision making theater, before making a decision. If a judge doesn’t look at precdents, a teacher at educational psychology, or a cop at the law, we can get bad decisions. The worst authoritarian leaders ignore those below them and dictate.

  • Yaritza FerreiraYaritza

    Yaritza Ferreira

    Professor of Curriculum, Educational Management and Research at UNEFM

    I applaud Mary for raising this reflection in the group because it is a reality that we are in our teaching performance and hardly we have strategies, but Rana, Brian and Grace made ​​some interesting proposals that we can apply.

  • Ron

    Ron Krate

    Professor and Founder International Professors Project

    Top Contributor

    @David …I apologize for missing Wall Street going David.

    There many other instances of overvaluing a theory, a law or an idea, since almost no reader or student, or even a professor will check the research design and statistics and logical analysis of all such.

    Mallow’s “theory” of personalty was disproved fifty years ago(?), but as the following years rolled by, HR professionals and many other admins were attached to the theory at the hip. It was a nice contribution to use as a subjective guideline for further work, but not to assume the hierarchy postulated almost always works–and even almost perefect does not a theory make–its considered to have been disproven.

    Many people have a miserable childhood: physically and/or emotionally, and go hungry but pretty well climb the ladder toward self actualization.

  • Ron

    Ron Krate

    Professor and Founder International Professors Project

    Top Contributor

    @David …I apologize for missing Wall Street going David.
    There many other instances of overvaluing a theory, a law or an idea, since almost no reader or student, or even a professor will check the research design and statistics and logical analysis of all such. Masow’s “theory” of personalty was disproved fifty years ago(?), but as the following years rolled by, HR professionals and many other admins were attached to the theory at the hip. It was a nice contribution to use as a subjective guideline for further work, but not to assume the hierarchy postulated almost always works–and even almost perefect does not a theory make–its considered to have been disproven.

    Many people have a miserable childhood: physically and/or emotionally, and go hungry but pretty well climb the ladder toward self actualization.

  • Ron

    Ron Bridges

    Biology Professor at Pellissippi State Community College

    Yes the military is authoritarian, but Soldiers also have to work in groups. All of my military training courses were taught in the small group style. My work as a staff officer was all done within small groups. And in Gen. Franks book he explains a lot about the reflective nature of his decision making process. How he would have his staff develop multiple possible plans and then not choose one until he had a chance to reflect on it. As he stated (paraphrasing a bit from memory): he often waited until the situation developed a bit and then the best option presented itself.
    I think that it is important that students learn that group work of some time is required in all professions. Whether the group gets to make the decision or only pitch a particular plan, they stil have to work together to finish whichever job they are given.

  • Alan Dobrowolski, MBAAlan

    Alan Dobrowolski, MBA

    Professor (Adjunct) at Manchester Community College

    Not sure how the discussion digressed to military groups – or quoting Tommy Franks as a reliable source – but institutions such as the Army and Marine Corp do operate as small groups. The “basic” in basic training emphasizes the breaking down of individuality and being rebuilt to “all you can be” as part of a “group project.”

    No place for that in accounting class.

    The use of “small group” or team project instruction permeates throughout the public sector – whether military or civilian. But your added value to any group or organization remains what you contribute as an individual; first you must learn as an individual before you can effectively contribute to a group.

    Group dynamics are important, but should not affect the individual outcome if not part of the learning objectives in the curriculum. I spent little time as a staff officer in the Army and never did figure out what the group think was leading to “decisions” that were handed down – and thanks to line officers like James Blunt who think as individuals, and disobeyed orders from General Wesley Clark, that we succeed as nations.

    (probably not the best source, but an accurate summary:
    http://hubpages.com/hub/1999-Showdowns-in-Kosovo-Russia-vs-NATO-US-vs-Britain

    David L.Ron K. like this

  • Davina BrownDavina

    Davina Brown

    Professor of Psychology at Franklin Pierce University

    I use team work in classes where, as Alan mentioned above, a particular goal is enhanced. However, I never make the project worth more than 20% of the final grade because I once saw a stellar student miss out on admittance to his preferred grad school (he was admitted to another) due to one B on his transcript (from a course where the team grade was 60%).
    I also believe that equating classroom team work with the world of employment is a terrible mistake. They are just not apples to apples! The people I work with have a lot more in common with me than students in a class room have with each other; and this class room heterogeneity is at it’s worst in the freshman and sophomore years. As for the team I work with, we have identical advanced degrees in the same field. All of us competed during hiring with other applicants, yet we, not those others, got hired. The chances that our personalities would mesh well are not guaranteed, but the odds are a lot higher than randomly throwing together a group of students.
    Also regarding actual employment, there are many jobs that do not require team work, and shy people or those with Asperger’s, for example, tend to self-select and gravitate to these positions. One example is a family member who works at the American College of Surgeons in Chicago. He sits in an office all by himself editing manuscripts and may see his boss once a week. Though this is not my idea of a fun time, he loves his job.

    Rae J.David L. like this

  • Wethington

    Wethington Steve

    Assistant Professor Process Technology at College of the Mainland

    Question: if you go into a workplace right out of College , what are you?

    answer: A freshman in the workplace. A lot of book learning maybe, but damn little practical experience.

    Teamwork is a requirement for the majority of folks outside Academia. You don’t have to like the other, you sure as heck don’t have to have the same outside interests.

    But you do have to work together. The Team will have type A’s and type B’s and folks who play well with others and folks that don’t. There for sure are no guaranties, but i know of none except death and taxes anyways. There is a valid reason for teaching teamwork. It has a function in life and in the workplace.

    and i see the “Asperger’s clause too. Which just in last few months has been called into question, if it even exists. If 5 % are that way, we modify everything and NOT teach or lead the other 95%? I modify my entire class for the same percentages? (and i know you can argue whatever that % should be and miss the point)

    We do student NO service by NOT getting them out of their comfort zone in this regards.

  • David LutherDavid

    David Luther

    Professor at Cambridge College

    Top Contributor

    The so called “Lone Wolf” is of vital importance to the group.

    “It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.”
    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Kip

    Kip Coggins

    Assistant Professor at Univ of Manitoba, Inner City Social Work Program

    Top Contributor

    I use group work for several classes and find that my students are apprehensive about this style UNTIL I explain that although it is “group” work they will ONLY be graded on their portion. For example, when I have the 4 groups go out to do a community assessment on the 4 sections: demographics, community characteristics, community services, and strengths and challenges, I have each student take a portion of their section and present their 4-5 page paper, as a poster presentation, in which they are quizzed about their poster and the information they gathered on the community for their particular section. Each student in each group has their section to present and defend, while at the same time they must all work together to ensure that their section is accurate! And I make sure to reinforce this grading system every class until the poster presentation, which is usually the last class before the final exam. I find that when this is explained properly, at the beginning of the class, and reinforced when the assignment is discussed, then there are fewer questions/problems. Students need to learn the importance and value of teamwork.

    Rae J.David L. like this

  • Amy Lynn HessAmy Lynn

    Amy Lynn Hess

    Associate Professor at Herzing University

    I have personally always hated group work – whether as a student or as an employee. Quite frankly, working with others lowers the quality of the work I could do on my own. Either that, or I end up doing all the work myself, anyway, because I have lazy group members. However, I also accept that I have to do it, so when required, I do it, and “we” produce a mediocre outcome. When I’m allowed to work alone, I get excited about the possibilities, get creative, excel, the product is better, and it’s delivered faster.

    I don’t blame students for hating group work. When they say they hate group work (when I DO assign it, and I DO), I tell them that hating something is no reason not to learn to do it and no reason not to do it and do it well. “For example,” I tell them, “I also really hate doing the dishes.”

    Hui L. likes this

  • Rana ZEINE, MD, PhD, MBARana

    Rana ZEINE, MD, PhD, MBA

    Assistant Professor at Saint James School of Medicine

    It can be very difficult when individual group members simply do not have any competencies relevant to the group assignment. However, working in teams in which individual members contribute their highest level of expertise or talent to the project generates outcomes that are greater than those that could be produced by a single person working alone.

    Kip C.David L. and 1 other like this

  • Wethington

    Wethington Steve

    Assistant Professor Process Technology at College of the Mainland

    and BINGO !!!!!!!!!!!!! Rana Thank you very much. That is EXACTLY why we should do teams in college.

    BTW………….rarely in 30 + years in 5 different sets of Plant experiences have i ever been asked if i wanted to join a group. I was assigned.

    I was not the lead in the group more then i was. When i was leader, i was “graded” on how the team did. The sum of the parts is most often better then just 1 part. This ” I excel when i am working alone” besides being egocentric is most often NOT true in more Industries and careers then it is.

    Steve Jobs , Bill Gates, et al might be really impressive individuals no doubt, but Apple, Goggle, Microsoft, and every top 500 company is team work oriented.

    Art L.David L. and 2 others like this

  • Michael RoachMichael

    Michael Roach

    Assistant Professor

    Here’s what I would see…the high achievers didn’t like group work because they ended up carrying the lesser achievers. The lesser achievers didn’t like group work because they were unveiled as lesser achievers.

  • Wethington

    Wethington Steve

    Assistant Professor Process Technology at College of the Mainland

    maybe, but that is the real world isn’t it? Sometimes i was the high achiever , some times not so much……….It isn’t us vs them………..it’s how do you work in teams to get the “job” or “assignment” done? and maybe more importantly how do i feel about the job i am doing?

    and with peer grading input, every one in class knows who is who just like in real world.

    I was turned down for a promotion once early on in my career field. The Boss 2 levels up said he couldn’t afford to lose me cause i was such a great member of the team……….

    Boy did i hem and haw and get bent………..then my direct boss came to me and asked me if i trusted him and his boss or not?

    i had to say yes since that was the truth………i got more of a raise and moved into a more visible spot on other teams then the fella who got promoted.

  • Kip

    Kip Coggins

    Assistant Professor at Univ of Manitoba, Inner City Social Work Program

    Top Contributor

    I agree with Rana and Wethington! I know that my wife has standards and she told me of one bad experience where she had to expel a member of her group and then explain to the prof why. After receiving a 1 page group assignment, which was due the following week, one group member choose not to submit anything until 10pm the night before the assignment was due for the 8am class. This was after repeated phone calls and emails asking for her input! So the next morning, this group member was told that her name would be removed from the next assignment, with a handwritten explanation that she had not contributed to the assignment and the prof was also given copies of the unanswered emails for the week! The funny thing, the assignment was on Humanities and covered free will. My wife told the prof that the other group members and she were using their collective “free will” and asking this student to be removed from the group. It was done, as the prof used his free will and placed her in another group — where she caused them havoc for the rest of the semester! The problem with group work stems from conflicting personalities rather than one person maybe not wanting to do “real” work to get the job done.
    But she knows that she can be hard on group members and tells them in the beginning. If you tell students that this is about teamwork and the ability to show respect for others talent, time, skill, etc, and communicate your feelings in a non-confrontational way, then group work can be amazing.
    Currently my wife is helping to mentor my 4 groups writing their portion of their class community assessment, so she is helping to reign 24 different personalities and working/writing styles so that these students individual papers can be edited into one cohesive paper. Yes, group is challenging for some, as trying to overcome the need to control everything can be exhausting.

  • Kip

    Kip Coggins

    Assistant Professor at Univ of Manitoba, Inner City Social Work Program

    Top Contributor

    Michael – maybe the “lesser achiever” did not appreciate the demeaning tone used by those who thought they were the “higher achievers.” I know that once group members start to label others, then that shows a lack of respect. While there are (many) times that group members may not contribute what they need to the group as a whole, it is up to the instructor to be made aware of this “problem” and let the students know that there is a solution to the situation of one or several members of a group not pulling their weight and doing their job to get the project done. That is why I grade on individual work within the group assignment- that way, the students still need to work together in order to ensure that the group project is well covered/presented and at the same time one member is not carrying the academic work load for the entire group. Group work is team work!

  • Susan Jaworowski, Ph.D.Susan

    Susan Jaworowski, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor and Program Director at Paralegal Program, Kapi`olani Community College

    Having the group spirit falter because one member doesn’t show up consistently can negatively impact the final project. However, in the real world for which I am preparing my students, they will run into good teammates and bad teammates, and they will need to produce the best work they can, despite any slackers. This is my strategy.

    I give only one group project as semester (and not in each course) in recognition of the difficulty that students have in collaborating with each other in a non-residential community college setting where 75% of the students work. I assign a maximum of three people per team and I give them a description of the three roles that are important on this team – the coordinator, the scribe, and the document preparer – and each team gets to decide who gets which role. This gives them a structure right from the start and helps manage expectations.

    In addition to the rubric for the project, I also provide them, right from the start, with a team member rubric that allows them to rate their team members as participating at a 100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, 20% or 0 level. I tell the students that if one of their members is slacking, that they will have to pitch in and do the work so that they produce a quality product, but that their teamwork multiplier will be applied to their colleague (so that if the team product receives 25 points, the two dedicated members get 100% of that, or the full 25 points, while a somewhat less productive member could get an 80% rating and thus earn only 20 points, or a real slacker get 40%, or 10 points). I reserve the right to make the final judgment in case of conflict.

    So each student knows that they cannot coast with penalty – the individual grade they get will be adjusted according to their peers’ perception of them. So far, I have not had many team member downgrades, and no challenges to a group’s decision to downgrade the contributions of one of its members.

    Robin L. likes this

  • Robin LaukhufRobin

    Robin Laukhuf

    P-T Faculty at Howard Community College

    I agree that it helps to reinforce that they will be evaluated privately to me from their group members. I guess there will never be a perfect situation in teamwork; but when it works the members of the team can learn from it. The real world workplace will have obstacles along the way and the more practice the better.

    I have had students say well if I was working in the workplace with this team I would quit. I try to explain to students that is not always an option. Working with team members is here to stay.

    David L. likes this

  • Alan Dobrowolski, MBAAlan

    Alan Dobrowolski, MBA

    Professor (Adjunct) at Manchester Community College

    In my function as an employment counselor, I would never consider recommending a customer take a position or place a client in a job where they are not comfortable. There is a job out there for everyone, that they will enjoy as part of their own fulfillment. If someone is uncomfortable with group work, we would not attempt to place someone in such a position, that could very well be paramount to failure.

    Working with team members, as an overpowering concept, is overrated. That goes to the current warm fuzzy that people are happier if they socialize with the people they work with. Another not so bright idea – effectively, it breaks the workplace into age groups. Let’s face it – the years I worked as a ski instructor, my “peers” (and I do hate that term) were almost young enough to be my grandchildren. Not only did we not socialize outside of work, but a lot of folks probably would ave thought it was creepy for me to be hanging around with teenage boys and girls!

    While at work, we may have to suffer participating with others for a project, there are usually some major differences than in the classroom. Most likely, the team has been chosen because of the unique skills they bring to the project. Their will be a designated arbitrator or team leader, and it is not just a random group of people who may or may not ave similar goals. Although we mean well in academia, are we really satisfying the need for any particular skills or are we blindly following our own “intuition.”

    Having been to faculty and staff meetings that may take weeks just to come up with a mission statement, one must question whether or not we are helping or hurting students by having them participate in our personal version of group dynamics. I don’t teach HVAC – I leave that to the experts. Same with group dynamics – let’s have the black belts (re: General Electric) take the lead. Better yet – maybe we should send faculty to Six Sigma Certification. www.ge.com/sixsigma/SixSigma.pdf

    Amy Lynn H. likes this

  • Dr.Maj. Kappagomtula CLDr.Maj. Kappagomtula

    Dr.Maj. Kappagomtula CL

    Professor at VIT University

    The root cause for all maladies in executing any large sized projects in any Country lies in this very basic ‘hatred’ to get associated with group tasks or assignments by the students. It may sound strange, but it is true through empirical proof. The very fact that Chinese are very successful in their ventures, be it the Olympics or in delivering mega projects, with a spectacular finish are all linked into their cultural inheritance to consider themselves as a part and parcel of a large family at all times and in all places. The elements of Guanxi (establishing personal rapport with one another), the Mianzhi phenomenon (influence of Face), and their indomitable ethnographic bonding (‘minzhu de jing mi jie he) all play predominant roles in their work environment. In contrast to Chinese, people in other parts of the world are all influenced by their ‘self centric’ attitude and the desire to excel and compete with peers as an individual rather than as a group. Where ever there is a cohesion between the team members, as in the case of sports / games, the clear results of success can be easily discerned due to synergy creation. If the culture of group work is indoctrinated into the young minds right from their preliminary schooling days, by designing mini projects involving team participation, we as teaching fraternity can really transform our society in a great way!

    David L.Grace T. like this

  • howard doughtyhoward

    howard doughty

    professor at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology

    First, the “theory” -

    In schools, colleges and universities, students are mainly graded on their individual competence as demonstrated in examinations of one sort or another. Assessment of personal performance and individual accountability for achievement are – like it or not – endemic to the liberal tradition (broadly defined) that has been increasingly part of Western culture since the early political theories of possessive individualism articulated by Hobbes and Locke. They are also essential to Western concepts of fairness, to what’s left of the idea of a “meritocracy,” and to concepts of unfairness such as collective punishment for the bad acts of a few (never mind coercion in the interest of creating “snitches” – as in “you’ll all get a detention until you ‘rat out’ the kid who hit the teacher in the back of the head with a piece of chalk … or a snowball”).

    Group work (along with group-think and group-speak) may well be the order of the day (or the day after tomorrow) in the organizational-cum-corporate society (never mind that all members of the group are ready and willing to stab their colleagues in the back at an opportune moment and to win some sort of reward/promotion for doing so); however, we must at least acknowledge that an undiminished sense of personal responsibility and a complete dedication to teamwork are fundamentally contradictory – the potential problems this poses for employees’ mental health are enormous, if only in terms of issues of cognitive dissonance.

    Now, the practice -

    We all know (or should know) that assigned group work is mainly a farce. For example, tasks are almost never equally shared. The “smart kids” do the work and the dullards ride the coat-tails … especially if the smart kids are also easily intimidated and the dullards carry weapons. In any case, when all members of the group receive the same grade for an allegedly collaborative accomplishment, the ones who were mainly responsible for whatever success was achieved will inevitably feel resentment and the laggards will feel empowered for having “gamed the system.” Neither is a commendable result.

    But, please, don’t get me wrong. I am a tremendous supporter of working in groups … provided that the groups are self-selected. Throughout undergraduate school and at least for my first postgraduate degree, I benefited a great deal from working with colleagues-friends in informal arrangements running from organized “study groups” in preparation for examinations to extended and unstructured “seminars” that could go for hours after a class (with or without libations at a local pub). In fact, I regard these often seemingly endless chats about this or that to have been essential to whatever learning took place for me and, I think, for others as well.

    The point?

    The trick is to distinguish between authentic “education” and “job training” in the sense of practice for corporate success by mirroring the “labour process” of employment and the “learning process” of education. As with most insinuations of the “business model” into the “academic atmosphere,” the results can be at best ambiguous, often oxymoronic and mostly a sham.

    Incidentally, at a near-by university, several students were expelled for “plagiarism” in that they had gathered in a study group (online, I think) “brainstormed” about what was likely to be on the final exam, assigned responsibility for members to come up with answers to one or more questions, shared the information and – when the exam was written – got “caught” for providing almost identical word-for-word responses. So, it seems that not only the students but also the professors and the authorities above them are totally confused about what all of this means and may portend for a very uncertain future.

    Amy Lynn H. likes this

  • Amy Lynn HessAmy Lynn

    Amy Lynn Hess

    Associate Professor at Herzing University

    Self-selected groups are definitely the way to go. I have had very interesting issues, though, where after a time, no one would select a certain person for their group. That person had to wander around the room asking groups to please accept him in the group. Thank you for this wonderful post and the reminder that education is not all “job training.”

    David L. likes this

  • hassan ashourhassan

    hassan ashour

    I do like team work. It is inspiring, fun, and let you communicate with others and build life-time friendships. Sometimes, group work hold you back, but it pays off when you meet people might need your help. This might release and ignite your mental reasoning, which will make you smarter.

    Rae J.David L. like this

  • Christina HunterChristina

    Christina Hunter

    Teaching at Humber College

    anyone have any advice for students who fail because their group members plagiarize?

  • Alan Dobrowolski, MBAAlan

    Alan Dobrowolski, MBA

    Professor (Adjunct) at Manchester Community College

    Howard and I often don’t agree – but spot on this time around!

  • Steve WethingtonSteve

    Steve Wethington

    College Professor at College of the Mainland

    The fact that one uses self – selected teams might work if all were of the exactly same motivation i suppose. I have seen “hi-performance” teams before, doesn’t usually work except maybe in a research environment.

    We here select the teams. Why? Because of demographics, mixing the students up. They come to us not from the same demographic , except maybe for ivy-leaquers. We mix races, sexes, ages, family backgrounds, and the students demonstrated or even perceived abilities.

    We give them projects including hands-on, oral, written, and presentations on subjects they know little if anything about. We set a timeline and send them off. As a Prof i nudge, cajole, push a little, send in right directions for info, and educate….

    Take more time then a lecture? damn sure it does……But the outcome, oh the outcome when a team gets accomplishment that the project works!!!!

    I have even seen teams who were successful, turn around and help other student teams reach the finish line. WITHOUT ME ASKING THEM TOO!!!

    And they all Cheered and laughed and bonded thru it all……..Their eyes lite up, they hug each other, a sense of accomplishment is born showing how teamwork……..WORKS!!!!!

    Anybody ever seen a high school or college debate team win??? WOW……..

    I am not as eloquent as Howard. But i teach in a real world . :

    “The trick is to distinguish between authentic “education” and “job training” in the sense of practice for corporate success by mirroring the “labour process” of employment and the “learning process” of education. As with most insinuations of the “business model” into the “academic atmosphere,” the results can be at best ambiguous, often oxymoronic and mostly a sham.”

    Teams aren’t back stabbing, cut your throat minded or bad things. Neither is business. To even imply such when discussing what i believe we are to do as educators and mentors is ludicrous. You want to develop that side ?

    I certainly don’t. It’s always amazing to me what stops Academia from investing in what supposedly is our concerns, the students.

    Like it or not students need to go to jobs after college. Most of those jobs will NOT be academic in nature.

    I rarely got to “pick” my teams i worked on. In Academia i sure haven’t. In workforce , omg i mean jobs…….GASP….in the “real “world, the same was true.

    Doctors work together in surgery with all sorts of specialized training to ensure the outcome, a healed patient. Businesses can’t run without teamwork. The Military , far from what has been said here, may have top down leadership, but you can not fix a jet or ship or tank all by one person.

    We tell the students “you can either be an agent for change in your life……or get run over by it”

    i see a lot of the latter in this discussion.

  • Grace Turner Ph.D.Grace

    Grace Turner Ph.D.

    Founder, Clavester University College Ltd; Clicking Connections; Oh Gracie! Sorrel jelly, wine and short stories

    Re grade and plagiarism:

    All group members have a collective responsibility where a group task is concerned. One cannot say not me, but the others. The grade is to be the same in my book.

    Christina H. likes this

  • Christina HunterChristina

    Christina Hunter

    Teaching at Humber College

    yes, that’s the traditional line… any divergent suggestions or solutions to address the issue?

  • Tery

    Tery Griffin

    Assoc. Professor at Wesley College

    My students are definitely fans of forming their own groups. What I did this semester was let them pick a topic, and also tell me if there were people in class they wanted to work with. For people who had other people they specifically wanted to work with, I tried to accommodate them. For people who did not know the other students well enough to know whom they wanted to work with, I assigned them to groups by the topic they were interested in.

    I have a question for those of you who let students form their own groups, though. How do you handle that in a class of, say, 20-30, when the students don’t really know one another yet?

  • Rae JohnsonRae

    Rae Johnson

    associate professor, faculty of art at Ontario College of Art & Design

    At OCAD University in Toronto, i give my students a group assignment as their first assignment. I allow them to form their own groups and intervene when they are uncertain.
    The students produce a short performative drawing using old-school overhead projectors and drawings on acetate, creating a narrative or music to accompany the images. I video their performances and later together we review the projects and offer critique based on the predetermined criteria. The project is only worth 20% of their total grade for the course in order to factor in the coasters. The results vary from year to year.

    The project is not so much about product, although of course it is an important factor, but rather about learning to work in a group – how to organize themselves and utilize each others strengths to best advantage. Even in the arts, we are dependent on each other to form our ideas and forward them through the creation of exhibition venues for example. Often, after this project, students find peers and friendships emerge which sometimes continue long after they have graduated. In a large university setting is often hard for students to connect with one another, and let’s face it, so much learning comes from informal discussions among peers as from formal lecturing at the front of the lecture hall. And in the professional world, the discussion goes on after a degree is achieved.

    Christina H.David L. and 1 other like this

Posted in learning, pedagogy, teaching | 1 Comment »

Education 2.0 Vs Education 3.0

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 16th March 2014

some_text

Posted in digital naitives, educational technology, instructional technology, learning, online learning, teaching, technology, technology literacy | 2 Comments »

Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Video Projects to Try With Your Students

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 15th March 2014

Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Video Projects to Try With Your Students

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2012/08/5-video-projects-to-try-with-your.html?m=1

Posted in Digital literacy, digital storytelling, educational technology, instructional technology, mobile learning, teaching, technology literacy, video, video editing | No Comments »

Do student evaluations measure teaching effectiveness?

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 5th February 2014

Do student evaluations measure teaching effectiveness?Manager’s Choice

Assistant Professor in MISTop Contributor

Higher Education institutions use course evaluations for a variety of purposes. They factor in retention analysis for adjuncts, tenure approval or rejection for full-time professors, even in salary bonuses and raises. But, are the results of course evaluations an objective measure of high quality scholarship in the classroom?

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  • Daniel WilliamsDaniel

    Daniel Williams

    Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at Winston-Salem State University

    I feel they measure student satisfaction, more like a customer service survey, than they do teaching effectiveness. Teachers students think are easy get higher scores than tough ones, though the students may have learned less from the former.

    Maria P.John S. and 17 others like this

  • Muvaffak

    Muvaffak GOZAYDIN

    Founder at Global Digital University

    Top Contributor

    How can you measure teachers’ effectiveness.
    That is how much students learn?
    If there is a method to measure how much we learn , I would appreciate to learn .

    Simphiwe N.Laura G. and 4 others like this

  • Michael TomlinsonMichael

    Michael Tomlinson

    Senior Director at TEQSA

    From what I recall, the research indicates that student evaluations have some value as a proxy and rough indicator of teacher effectiveness. We would expect that bad teachers will often get bad ratings, and good teachers will often get good ratings. Ratings for individual teachers should always be put in context, IMHO, for precisely the reasons that Daniel outlines.

    Aggregated ratings for teachers in departments or institutions can even out some of these factors, especially if you combine consideration with other indicators, such as progress rates.The hardest indicators however are drop-out rates and completion rates. When students vote with their feet this can flag significant problems. We have to bear in mind that students often drop out for personal reasons, but if your college’s drop-out rate is higher than your peers, this is worth investigating.

    phillip P.J.B. W. and 12 others like this

  • Rina SahayRina

    Rina Sahay

    Technical educator looking for a new opportunity or career direction

    I agree with what Michael says – to a point. Unfortunately student evaluations have also been used as a venue for disgruntled students, acting alone or in concert – a popularity contest of sorts. Even more unfortunately college administrations (especially for-profits) tend to rate Instructor effectiveness on the basis of student evaluations.

    IMHO, student evaluation questions need to be carefully crafted in order to be as objective as possible in order to eliminate the possibility of responses of an unprofessional nature. To clarify – a question like “Would you recommend this teacher to other students?” has the greatest potential for counter-productivity.

    Maria P.phillip P. and 6 others like this

  • Robert WhippleRobert

    Robert Whipple

    Chair, English Department at Creighton University

    No.

    Rina S.Elizabeth T. and 7 others like this

  • Dr. Virginia Stead, Ed.D.Dr. Virginia

    Dr. Virginia Stead, Ed.D.

    2013-2015 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. (New York) Founding Book Series Editor: Higher Education Theory, Policy, & Praxis

    This is not a Cartesian question in that the answer is neither yes nor no; it’s not about flipping a coin. One element that may make it more likely that student achievement is a result of teacher effectiveness is the comparison of cumulative or summative student achievement against incoming achievement levels. Another variable is the extent to which individual students are sufficiently resourced (such as having enough food, safety, shelter, sleep, learning materials) to benefit from the teacher’s beneficence.

    Bridget K.Simphiwe N. and 4 others like this

  • Barbara

    Barbara Celia

    Assistant Clinical Professor at Drexel University

    Depends on how the evaluation tool is developed. However, overall I do not believe they are effective in measuring teacher effectiveness.

    Jeremy W.Ronnie S. and 1 other like this

  • Sri YogamalarSri

    Sri Yogamalar

    Lecturer at MUSC, Malaysia

    Overall, I think students are the best judge of a teacher’s effective pedagogy methods. Although there may be students with different learning difficulties (as there usually is in a class), their understanding of the concepts/principles and application of the subject matter in exam questions, etc. depends on how the teacher imparts such knowledge in a rather simplified and easy manner to enhance analytical and critical thinking in them. Of course, there are students too who give a bad review of a teacher’s teaching mode out of spite just because the said teacher has reprimanded him/her in class for being late, for example, or for even being rude. In such a case, it would not be a true reflection of the teacher’s method of teaching. A teacher tries his/her best to educate and inculcate values by imparting the required knowledge and ensuring a 2-way teaching-learning process. It is the students who will be the best judge to evaluate and assess the success of the efforts undertaken by the teacher because it is they who are supposed to benefit at the end of the teaching exercise.

    Chunli W.Simphiwe N. and 2 others like this

  • Paul S HickmanPaul S

    Paul S Hickman

    Member of the Council of Trustees & Distinguished Mentor at Warnborough College, Ireland & UK

    No! No!

    Anne G.Maria P. and 2 others like this

  • Bonnie FoxBonnie

    Bonnie Fox

    Higher Education Copywriter

    In some cases, I think evaluations (and negative ones in particular) can offer a good perspective on the course, especially if an instructor is willing to review them with an open mind. Of course, there are always the students who nitpick and, as Rina said, use the eval as a chance to vent. But when an entire class complains about how an instructor has handled a course (as I once saw happen with a tutoring student whose fellow classmates were in agreement about the problems in the course), I think it should be taken seriously. But I also agree with Daniel about how evaluations should be viewed like a customer service survey for student satisfaction. Evals are only useful up to a point.

    I definitely agree about the way evaluations are worded, though, to make sure that it’s easier to recognize the useful information and weed out the whining.

    Maria P.Pierre H. and 4 others like this

  • Pierre HENONPierre

    Pierre HENON

    university teacher (professeur agrege)

    I am director of studies and students in continuing education are making evaluation of the teaching effectiveness. Because I am in an ISO process, I must take in account those measurements. It might be very difficult sometimes because the number of students does not reach the level required for the sample to be valid (in a statistic meaning). But in the meantime, I believe in the utility of such measurements. The hard job is for me when I have to discuss with the teacher who is under the required score.

    Simphiwe N.Maria P. like this

  • Maria PerssonMaria

    Maria Persson

    Senior Tutor – CeTTL – Student Learning & Digital/Technology Coach (U of W – Faculty of Education)

    I’m currently ‘filling in’ as the administrator in our Teaching Development Unit – Appraisals and I have come to appreciate that the evaluation tool of choice is only that – a tool. How the tool is used in terms of the objective for collecting ‘teaching effectiveness’ information, question types developed to gain insight of, and then how that info is acted upon to inform future teaching and learning will in many ways denote the quality of the teaching itself !

    Student voice is not just about keeping our jobs, ‘bums on seats’ or ‘talking with their feet’ (all part of it of course) but should be about whether or not we really care about learning. Student voice in the form of evaluating teachers’ effectiveness is critically essential if we want our teaching to model learning that affects positive change – Thomas More’s educational utopia comes to mind…

    Simphiwe N.Pierre H. and 4 others like this

  • David ShallenbergerDavid

    David Shallenberger

    Consultant and Professor of International Education

    Alas, I think they are weak indicators of teaching effectiveness, yet they are used often as the most important indicators of the same. And in the pursuit of high response rate, they are too often given the last day of class, when they cannot measure anything significant — before the learning has “sunk in.” Ask better questions, and ask the questions after students have had a chance to reflect on the learning.

    Barbara C.Pierre H. and 9 others like this

  • Cathryn McCormackCathryn

    Cathryn McCormack

    Lecturer (Teaching and Learning), and Belly Dance teacher

    I’m just wrapping up a very large project at my university that looked at policy, processes, systems and the instrument for collecting student feedback (taking a break from writing the report to write this comment). One thing that has struck me very clearly is that we need to reconceptualise SETs. de Vellis, in Scale Development, talks about how a scale generally has a higher validity if the respondent is asked to talk about their own experiences.

    Yet here we are asking students to not only comment on, but evaluate their teachers. What we really want students to do in class in concentrate on their learning – not on what the teacher is doing. If they are focussing on what the teacher is doing then something is not going right. The way we ask now seems even crazier when we consider the most sophisticated conception of teaching is to help students learn. So why aren’t we asking students about their learning?

    The standard format has something to do with it – it’s extremely difficult to ask interesting questions on learning when the wording must align with a 5 point Likert response scale. Despite our best efforts, I do not believe it is possible to prepare a truly student centred and learning centred questionnaire using this format.

    An alternate format I came across that I really liked (Modified PLEQ Devlin 2002, An Improved Questionnaire for Gathering Student Perceptions of Teaching and Learning), but no commercial evaluation software (which we are required to purchase) can do it. A few overarching questions sets the scene for the nature of the class, but the general question format goes: In [choose from drop down list] my learning was [helped/hindered] when [fill in the blank] because [fill in the blank]. The drop down list would include options such as lectures, seminars/tutorials, a private study situation, preparing essays, labs, field trip, etc. After completing one question the student has the option to fill in another … and another … and another … for as long as they want.

    Think about what information we could actually get on student learning if we we started asking like this! No teacher ratings, all learning. The only number that would emerge would be the #helped and the #hindered.

    Maria P.Pierre H. and 6 others like this

  • Hans TilstraHans

    Hans Tilstra

    Senior Coordinator, Learning and Teaching

    Keep in mind “Goodhart’s Law” – When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

    For example, if youth unemployment figures become the main measure, governments may be tempted to go for the low hanging fruit, the short term (eg. a work for the dole stick to steer unemployed people into study or the army).

    Punita S.Laura G. and 2 others like this

  • robert easterbrookrobert

    robert easterbrook

    Education Management Professional

    Nope.

    Catherine W.Anne G. like this

  • John StanburyJohn

    John Stanbury

    Professor at Singapore Institute of Management

    I totally agree with most of the comments here. I find student evaluations to be virtually meaningless as measures of a teachers’ effectiveness. They are measures of student perception NOT of learning. Yet university administrators eg Deans, Dept chairs, persist in using them to evaluate faculty performance in the classroom to the point where many instructors have had their careers torn apart. Its an absolute disgrace!! But no one seems to care! That’s the sick thing about it!

    Ronnie S.Maria P. and 4 others like this

  • Simon YoungSimon

    Simon Young

    Programme Coordinator, Pharmacy

    Satisfaction cannot be simply correlated with teaching quality. The evidence is that students are most “satisfied” with courses that support a surface learning approach – what the student “needs to know” to pass the course. Where material and delivery is challenging, this generates less crowd approval but, conversely, is more likely to be “good teaching” as this supports deep learning.

    Our challenge is to achieve deep learning and still generate rave satisfaction reviews. If any reader has the magic recipe, I would be pleased to learn of it.

    joe O.Maria P. and 4 others like this

  • Laura GabigerLaura

    Laura Gabiger

    Professor at Johnson & Wales University

    Top Contributor

    Maybe it is about time we started calling it what it is and got Michelin to develop the star rating system for our universities.

    Nevertheless I appreciate everyone’s thoughtful comments. Muvaffak, I agree with you about the importance and also the difficulty of measuring student learning. Cathryn, thank you for taking a break from your project to give us an overview.

    My story: the best professor and mentor in my life (I spent a total of 21 years as a student in higher education), the professor from whom I learned indispensable and enduring habits of thought that have become more important with each passing year, was one whom the other graduate students in my first term told me–almost unanimously– to avoid at all costs.

    Jeremy W.Maria P. and 1 other like this

  • Dr. Pedro L. MartinezDr. Pedro L.

    Dr. Pedro L. Martinez

    Former Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Winston Salem State University & President of HigherEd SC.

    I am not sure that course evaluations based on one snap shot measure “teacher effectiveness”. For various reasons, some ineffective teachers get good ratings by pandering to the lowest level of intellectual laziness. However, consistently looking at comments and some other measures may yield indicators of teachers who are unprepared, do not provide feedback, do not adhere to a syllabus of record, and do not respect students in general. I think part of that information is based how questions are crafted.

    I believe that a self evaluation of instructor over a period of a semester could yield invaluable information. Using a camera and other devices, ask the instructor to take snap shots of their teaching/ learning in the classroom over a period of time and then ask for a self-evaluation. For the novice teacher that information could be evaluated by senior faculty and assist the junior faculty to improve his/her delivery. Many instructors are experts in their field but lack exposure to different methods of instructional delivery. I would like to see a taxonomy of a scale that measures the instructor’s ability using lecture as the base of instruction and moving up to levels of problem based learning, service learning, undergraduate research by gauging the different pedagogies (pedagogy, androgogy heutagogy, paragogy etc. that engage students in active learning.

    Dvora P.Maria P. and 1 other like this

  • Steve CharlierSteve

    Steve Charlier

    Assistant Professor at Quinnipiac University

    I wanted to piggyback on Cathryn’s comment above, and align myself with how many of you seem to feel about student evaluations. The quantitative part of student evals are problematic, for all of the reasons mentioned already. But the open-ended feedback that is (usually) a part of student evaluations is where I believe some real value can be gained, both for administrative purposes and for instructor development.

    When allowed to speak freely, what are students saying? Are they lamenting a particular aspect of the course/instructor? Is that one area coloring their response across all questions? These are all important considerations, and provide a much richer source of information for all involved.

    Sadly, the quantitative data is what most folks gravitate to, simply because it’s standardized and “easy”. I don’t believe that student evaluations are a complete waste of time, but I do think that we tend to focus on the wrong information. And, of course, this ignores the issues of timing and participation rates that are probably another conversation altogether!

    Dvora P.Sonu S. and 4 others like this

  • robert easterbrookrobert

    robert easterbrook

    Education Management Professional

    ‘What the Student Does: teaching for enhanced learning’ by John Biggs in Higher Education Research & Development, Vol. 18, No. 1, 1999.

    “The deep approach refers to activities that are appropriate to handling the task so that an appropriate outcome is achieved. The surface approach is therefore to be discouraged, the deep approach encouraged – and that is my working definition of good teaching. Learning is thus a way of interacting with the world. As we learn, our conceptions of phenomena change, and we see the world differently. The acquisition of information in itself does not bring about such a change, but the way we structure that information and think with it does. Thus, education is about conceptual change, not just the acquisition of information.” (p. 60)

    This is the approach higher education is trying adapt to at the moment, as far as I’m aware.

    Jeremy W.Adrian M. like this

  • Cindy KenkelCindy

    Cindy Kenkel

    Northwest Missouri State University

    My Human Resource students will focus on this issue in a class debate “Should student evaluation data significantly impact faculty tenure and promotion decisions?” One side will argue “yes, it provides credible data that should be one of the most important elements” and the other group will argue against this based on much of what has been said above. They will say student evaluations are basically a popularity contest and faculty may actually be dumbing down their classes in order to get higher ratings.

    To what extent is student data used in faculty tenure and promotion decisions at your institutions?

  • yasir

    yasir hayat

    Faculty member at institute of management sciences,peshawar

    NO

  • yasir

    yasir hayat

    Faculty member at institute of management sciences,peshawar

    NO

  • joe othmanjoe

    joe othman

    Associate Professor at Institute of Education, IIUM

    Agree with Pierre, when the number of students responding is not what is expected; then what?

  • joe othmanjoe

    joe othman

    Associate Professor at Institute of Education, IIUM

    Cindy; it is used in promotion decision in my university, but only a small percentage of the total points. Yet this issue is still a thorny one for some faculty

  • Sonu SardaSonu

    Sonu Sarda

    Lecturer at University of Southern Queensland

    How open are we? Is learning about the delivery of a subject only or bulding on soft skills as well?So if we as teachers are facilitating learning in a conducive manner ,would it not lead to an average TE at the least &thus indicate our teaching effectiveness at the base level. Indeed qualitative approach would be far better an approach, if we intend to accomplish the actual purpose of TE i.e Reflection for continual improvement.More and more classrooms are becoming learner centered and to accomplish this learners ‘say’ is vital.
    Some students using these as platforms for personal whims, must not be a concern for many, since the TE are averaged out .Of course last but not the least TEs are like dynamites and must be handled by experts.These are one of the means of assessing the gaps,if any, between the teaching and learning strategies. These must not be used for performance evaluation.If at all, then all the other factors such as the number of students,absenteeism,pass rate rather HD & D rates over a period of minimum three terms must also be included alongside.

  • Dvora PeretsDvora

    Dvora Perets

    Teaching colleague at Ben Gurion University of the Negev

    I implement a semester long self evaluation process in all my mathematics courses. Students gets 3 points (out of 100) for anonymously filling an online questionnaire online every week . They rate (1-5) their personal class experience (I was bored -I was fascinated, I understood nothing- I understood everything, The tutorials sessions didn’t-did help, I visited Lecturer’s/TA’s office hours, I spent X hours of self learning this week). They can also add verbal comments.
    I started it 10 years ago when I built a new special course, to help me “hear” the students (80-100 in each class) and to better adjust myself and the content to my new students. I used to publish a weekly respond to the verbal comments, accepting some and rejecting others while making sure to explain and justify any decision of mine.
    Not only that it helped me improve my teaching and the course but it turned out that it actually created a very solid perception of me as a caring teacher. I always was a very caring teacher (some of my colleagues accuse me of being over caring…) but it seems that “forcing” my student to give feedback along all the semester kind of “brought it out” to the open.

    I am still using long-semester feedback in all my courses and I consider both quantitative and qualitative responds. It helps me see that the majority of students understand me in class. I ignore those who choose “I understand nothing” – obviously if they were indeed understanding “nothing” they would have not come to class… (they can choose “I didn’t participate” or “I don’t wont to answer”)
    I ignore all verbal comments that aim to “punish” me and I change things when I think students r right.
    Finally, being a math lecturer for non-major students is extremely hard, both academically and emotionally. Most students are not willing to do what is needed in order to understand the abstract/complicated concepts and processes.
    Only few (“courageous “) students will attribute their lack of understanding to the fact that they did not attend all classes, or that they weren’t really focused on learning, (probably they spend a lot of time in “Facebook” during class..), or that they didn’t go over class notes at home and come to office hours when they didn’t understand something etc.
    I am encouraged by the fact that about 2/3 of the students that attend classes state they “understood enough” and above (3-5) all semester long. This is especially important as only 40-50% of the students fill the formal end of the semester SE and I bet u can guess how the majority of of them will rate my performance. Students fill SE before the final exam but (again) u can guess how 2 midterms with about 24% failures will influence their evaluation of my teaching.

    Cathryn M.Steve C. and 3 others like this

  • Michael TomlinsonMichael

    Michael Tomlinson

    Senior Director at TEQSA

    I think it’s important to avoid defensive responses to the question. Most participants have assumed that we are talking about individual teachers being assessed through questionnaires, and I share everyone’s reservations about that. I entirely agree that deep learning is what we need to go for, but given the huge amounts of public money that are poured into our institutions, we need to have some way of evaluating whether what we are doing is effective or whether it isn’t.

    I’m not impressed by institutions that are obsessed only with evaluation by numbers. However, there is some merit in monitoring aggregated statistics over time and detecting statistically significant variations. If average satisfaction rates in Engineering have gone down every year for five years shouldn’t we try and find out why? If satisfaction rates in Architecture have gone up every year for five years wouldn’t it be interesting to know if they have been doing something to bring that about that might be worthwhile? It might turn out to be a statistical artifact, but we need to inquire into it, and bring the same arts of critical inquiry to bear on the evidence that we use in our scholarship and research.

    But I always encourage faculties and institutions to supplement this by actually getting groups of students together and talking to them about their student experience as well. Qualitative responses can be more valuable than quantitative surveys. We might actually learn something!

    Laura G.yasir H. and 2 others like this

  • Aleardo

    Aleardo Manacero

    Associate Professor at UNESP – São Paulo State University

    As everyone here I also think that these evaluation forms do not truly measure teaching effectiveness. This is a quite hard thing to evaluate, since the effect of learning will be felt several years later, while performing their job duties.

    Besides that, some observations made by students are interesting for our own growth. I usually get these through informal talks with the class or even some students.

    In another direction, some of the previous comments are addressing deep/surface learning basically stating that deep learning is the right way to go. I have to disagree with this for some of the contents that have to be taught. In my case (teaching to computer science majors) it is important, for example, that every student have a surface knowledge about operating systems design, but those who are going to work as database analysts do not need to know the deep concepts involved with that (the same is true for database concepts for a network analyst…). So, surface learning has also its relevance in the professional formation.

    Jeremy W.Sonu S. like this

  • George ChristodoulidesGeorge

    George Christodoulides

    Senior Consultant and Lecturer at university of nicosia

    The usefulness of Student evaluations, like all similar surveys, is closely linked to the particular questions they are asked to answer. There are the objective-type/factual questions such as “Does he start class on time” or “does he speak clearly” and the very personal questions such as “does he give fair grades”… The effectiveness of a Teacher could be more appropriately linked to suitably phrased question, such as “has he motivated you to learn” and “how much have you bebnefited from the course”. The responses to these questions could, also, be further assessed by comparison with the final grades given to that particular course with the performance of the class in the other courses they have taken..during that semester. So, for assessing Teacher Effectiveness, one needs to ask relevant questions. and perform the appropriate evaluations..

  • Laura GabigerLaura

    Laura Gabiger

    Professor at Johnson & Wales University

    Top Contributor

    Michael has an excellent point that some accountability of institutions and programs is appropriate, and that aggregated data or qualitative results can be useful in assessing whether the teaching in a particular program is accomplishing what it sets out to do. Many outcomes studies are set up to measure the learning in an aggregated way.

    We may want to remember that our present conventions of teaching evaluation had their roots in the 1970s (in California, if I remember correctly), partly as a response to a system in which faculty, both individually and collectively, were accountable to no one. I recall my student days when a professor in a large public research institution would consider it an intrusion and a personal affront to be asked to supply a course syllabus.

    As the air continues to leak out of the USA’s higher education bubble, as the enrollments drop and the number of empty seats rises, it seems inevitable that institutions will feel the pressure to offer anything to make the students perceive their experience as positive. It may be too hard to make learning–often one of the most uncomfortable experiences in life–the priority. Faculty respond defensively because we are continually put in the position of defending ourselves, often by poorly-designed quantitative instruments that address every kind of feel-good hotel concierge aspect of classroom management while overlooking learning.

    John S. likes this

  • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

    Sethuraman Jambunatha

    Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

    The evaluation of faculty by the students is welcome. The statistics of information can be looked into to a certain degree of objectivity. An instructor strict with his/her students may be ranked low in spite of being an asset to the department. A ‘free-lance’ teacher with students may be placed higher despite being a poor teacher. At any rate the HoD’s duty is to observe the quality of all teachers and his objective evaluation is final. The parents feed-back is also to be taken. Actually
    teaching is a multi-dimensional task and students evaluation is just one co-ordinate only.

  • Edwin

    Edwin Herman

    Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

    Student evaluations are a terrible tool for measuring teacher effectiveness. They do measure student satisfaction, and to some extent the measure student *perception* of teacher effectiveness. But the effectiveness of a teaching method or of an instructor is poorly correlated with student satisfaction: while there are positive linkages between the two concepts, students are generally MORE satisfied by an easy course that makes them feel good than by a hard course that makes them have to really think and work (and learn).

    Students like things that are flashy, and things that are easy more than they like things that require a lot of work or things that force them to rethink their core values. Certainly there are students who value a challenge, but even those students may not recognize which teacher gave them a better course.

    Student evaluations can be used effectively to help identify very poor teaching. But it is useless to distinguish between adequate and good teaching practices.

    John S. likes this

  • Cesar GranadosCesar

    Cesar Granados

    ex Vicerrector Administrativo en Universidad Nacional de San Cristóbal de Huamanga

    César S. Granados
    Retired Professor from The National University of San Cristóbal de Huamanga
    Ayacucho, PERÚ

    Since teaching effectiveness is a function of teacher competencies, an effective teacher is able to use the existing competencies to achieve the desired student´s results; but, student´s performance mainly depends of his commitment to achieve competencies.

  • Steve KaczmarekSteve

    Steve Kaczmarek

    Professor at Columbus State Community College

    The student evaluations I’ve seen are more like customer satisfaction surveys, and in this respect, there is less helpful information for the instructor to improve his or her craft and instead more feedback about whether or not the student liked the experience. Shouldn’t their learning and/or improving skills be at least as important? I’m not arguing that these concepts are mutually exclusive, but the evaluations are often written to privilege one over the other.

    There are other problems. Using the same evaluation tool for very different kinds of courses (lecture versus workshop, for instance) doesn’t make a lot of sense. Evaluation language is often vague and puzzling in what it rewards (one evaluation form asks “Was the instructor enthusiastic?” Would an instructor bursting with smiles and enthusiasm but who is disorganized and otherwise less effective be privileged over one who is low-key but nonetheless covers the material effectively?). The “halo effect” can distort findings, where, among other things, more attractive instructors can get higher marks.

    Given how many times I’ve heard from students about someone being their favorite instructor because he or she was easy, I question the criteria students may use when evaluating. Instructors are also told that evaluations are for their benefit to improve teaching ability, but then chairs and administrators use them in promotion and hiring decisions.

    I think if the evaluation tool is sound, it can be useful to helping instructors. But, lastly, I think of my own experiences as a student, where I may have disliked or even resented some instructors because they challenged me or pushed me out of my comfort zone to learn new skills or paradigms. I may have evaluated them poorly at the time, only to come to learn a few years later with greater maturity that they not only taught me well, but taught me something invaluable, and perhaps more so than the instructors I liked. In this respect, it would be more fair to those instructors for me to fill out an evaluation a few years later to accurately describe their teaching.

  • Diane

    Diane Halm

    Adjunct Professor of Writing at Niagara University

    Wow, there are so many valid points raised; so many considerations. In general, I tend to agree with those who believe it gauges student satisfaction more than learning, though there is a correlation between the two. After 13 years as an adjunct at a relatively small, private college, I have found that engagement really is what many students long for. It seems far less about the final grades earned and more about the tools they’ve acquired. It should be mentioned that I teach developmental level composition, and while almost no student earns an A, most feel they have learned much:)

    Pierre H. likes this

  • Nira HativaNira

    Nira Hativa

    Former director, center for the advancement of teaching at Tel Aviv University

    Student ratings of instruction (SRI) do not measure teaching effectiveness but rather student satisfaction from instruction (as some previous comments on this list suggest). However there is a substantial research evidence for the relationships between SRIs and some agreed-upon measures of good teaching and of student learning. This research is summarized in much detail in my recent book:
    Student Ratings of Instruction: A Practical Approach to Designing, Operating, and Reporting (220 pp.) https://www.createspace.com/4065544
    ISBN-13:978-1481054331

    Michael T.Diane H. and 1 other like this

  • robert easterbrookrobert

    robert easterbrook

    Education Management Professional

    Learning is not about what the teacher does, it is about what the learner does.

    Do not confuse the two.

    Learning is what the learner does with what the teacher teaches.

    If you think that learning is all about what the teacher does, then the SRI will mislead and deceive.

    Adrian M.David Shallenberger and 1 other like this

  • Sami SamraSami

    Sami Samra

    Associate Professor at Notre Dame University – Louaize

    Evaluation, in all its forms, is a complex exercise that needs both knowledge and skill. Further, evaluation can best be achieved through a variety of instruments. We know all of this as teachers. Question is how knowledgeable are our students regarding the teaching/learning process. More, how knowledgeable are our administrators in translating information collected from questionnaires (some of which are validity-questionable) into plausible data-based decisions. I agree that students should have a say in how their courses are being conducted. But to use their feedback, quantitatively, to evaluate university professors… I fear that I must hold a very skeptical stand towards such evaluation.

    John S. likes this

  • Joseph Lennox, Ph.D.Joseph

    Joseph Lennox, Ph.D.

    Consultant & Training Development Specialist at Lennox Consulting, LLC j.r.lennox.consulting@gmail.com

    Top Contributor

    Quite an interesting topic, and I’m reminded of the ancient proverb, “Parts is not parts.” OK, maybe that was McDonalds. This conversation would make a very thoughtful manuscript.

    Courses is not courses. Which course will be more popular, “Contemporary Music” or “General Chemistry?”

    Search any university using the following keywords “really easy course [university].” Those who teach these courses are experts at what they do, and what they do is valuable, however the workload for the student is minimal.

    The major issues: (1) popularity is inversely proportional to workload; and (2) the composition of the questions appearing on course and professor evaluations (CAPEs).

    “What grade do you expect in this class? Instructor explains course material well? Lectures hold your attention?”

    If Sally gets to listen to Nickleback in class and then next period learn quantum mechanics, which course does one suppose best held her attention?

    A person about to receive a C- in General Chemistry is probably receiving that C- because s/he was never able to understand the material for lack of striving, and probably hates the subject. That person is very likely to have never visited the professor during office hours for help. Logically one might expect low approval ratings from such a scenario.

    A person about to receive an A in General Chemistry is getting that A because s/he worked his/her tail off. S/he was able to comprehend mostly everything the professor said, and most probably liked the course. Even more, s/he probably visited the professor during office hours several times for feedback.

    One might argue that the laws of statistics will work in favor of reality, however that’s untrue when only 20% of students respond to CAPEs. Those who respond either love the professor or hate the professor. There’s usually no middle ground. Add this to internet anonymity, and the problem is compounded. I am aware of multiple studies conducted by universities indicating high correlation between written CAPEs and electronic CAPEs, however I’d like to bring up one point.

    Think of the last time you raised your voice to a customer service rep on the phone. Would you have raised your voice to that rep in person?

    There’s not enough space to comment on all the variables involved in CAPE numerical responses. As of last term I stopped paying attention to the numbers and focused exclusively on the comments. There’s a lot of truth in most of the comments.

    I would like to see the following experiment performed. Take a group of 10,000 students. Record their CAPE responses prior to receiving their final grade. Three weeks later, have them re-CAPE. One year later, have them re-CAPE again. Two years. Three years. Finally, have them re-CAPE after getting a job.

    Many students don’t know what a professor did for them until semesters or years down the road. They’re likely to realize how good of a teacher the professor was by their performance in future courses in the same subject requiring cumulative mastery.

    Do I think student evaluations measure teaching effectiveness? CAPEs is not CAPEs.

    Ronnie S.Sonu S. like this

  • Anne GardnerAnne

    Anne Gardner

    Senior Lecturer at University of Technology Sydney

    No, of course they don’t.

  • Christa van StadenChrista

    Christa van Staden

    Owner of AREND.co, a professional learning community for educators

    No, it does not. Efficiency in class room should be measured by the results of students, their attitude towards students and the quality of their preparation. I worked with a man who told a story about the different hats and learning and thought that was a new way of looking at learning. To my utmost shock my colleague, who sat because he had to say something, told me that he did it exactly the same, same jokes, etc, when he did the course five years ago. For real – nothing changed, no new technology, no new insights. no learning happened over a period of five years, nothing? And he is rated very high – head of a new wing. Who rated him? How? And why did it not effect his teaching at all?

  • Mat Jizat AbdolMat Jizat

    Mat Jizat Abdol

    Chief Executive at Institut Sains @ Teknologi Darul Takzim ( INSTEDT)

    If we are looking for quality, we have to get information about our performance.in the lecture room. There are 6 elements normally being practice. They are: 1.Teaching Plan of lecture contents 2.Teaching Delivery 3.Fair and systematic of evaluation on student’s work 4. Whether the Teaching follows the semester plan.5. Whether the lecturer follows the T-Table and always on time of their lecturer hours and lastly is the Relationship between lecturer and students.

  • orlando mcallisterorlando

    orlando mcallister

    Department Head – Communications/Mathematics

    Do we need to be reminded that educators were students at one time or the other? So why not have students evaluate the performance of a teacher? After all, the students are contributing to their own investment in what is significant for survival; and whether it is effective towards career development to attain their full potential as a human sentient being towards the greater good of humanity; anything else falls short of human progress in a tiny rotating planet cycling through the solar system with destination unknown! Welcome to the ‘Twilight Zone.”

    Would you rather educate a student to make a wise decision to accept 10 gallons of water in a desert? Or accept a $1 million check that further creates mirages and illusory dreams of success?

  • Stephen RobertsonStephen

    Stephen Robertson

    Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University

    I think what my students say about me is important. I’m most interested in the comments they make and have used these to pilot other ideas or adjust my approach.

    I’ve had to learn to not beat myself up about a few bad comments or get carried away with a few good ones.

    I also use the assessment results to see if the adjustments made have had the intended impact. I use the VLE logs as well to see how engaged the students are with the materials and what tools they use and when.

    I find the balance keeps me grounded. I want my students to do well and have fun. The dashboard on your car has multiple measures. Why should teaching be different? Like the car I listen for strange noises and look out the window to make sure I’m still on the road.

    Jeremy W. likes this

  • Allan SheppardAllan

    Allan Sheppard

    Lecturer/tutor/PhD student at Griffith University

    I think that most student evaluations are only reaction measures and not true evaluation of learning outcome or teaching effectiveness – and often evaluations are tainted if the student get a lower mark than anticipated
    I think these types of evaluation are only indicative — and should not really be used to measure teacher/teaching effectiveness – and should not be allowed to affect teachers’ careers
    I note Stephen’s point about multiple measures — unfortunately most evaluations are quick and dirty — and certainly do not provide multiple measures

    Jeremy W.John S. like this

  • Allan SheppardAllan

    Allan Sheppard

    Lecturer/tutor/PhD student at Griffith University

    interestingly most student evaluations are anonymous – so the student can say what he/she likes and not have to face scrutiny

    George C. likes this

  • Olga

    Olga Kuznetsova

    No, students’evaluations cannot fully measure teaching effectiveness.
    However,for the relationship to be mutually beneficial, you have to accept their judgement on the matter, Unfortunately a Unique teacher for all categories (types) of students does not exist in our dynamic world.

    George C. likes this

  • Penny PaliadelisPenny

    Penny Paliadelis

    Professor, Executive Dean, Faculty of Health, Federation University Australia

    Student evaluations are merely popularity contests, they tempt academics to ‘ dumb down’ the content in order to be liked and evaluated positively…this is a dangerous and slippery slope then can result in graduates being ill-prepared for the professions and industries they seek to enter.

    Kathleen C.John S. like this

  • Robson Chiambiro (MBA, MSc, MEd.)Robson

    Robson Chiambiro (MBA, MSc, MEd.)

    PRINCE 2 Registered Practitioner at Higher Colleges of Technology

    In my opinion the student-teacher evaluations are measuring popularity as others suggested but the problem is that some of the questions and intentions of assesing are not fulfilled due to the use of wrong questioning. I have never seen in the instruments a question asking students of their expectations from the teacher and the course as such. To me that is more important than to ask if the student likes the teaching style which students do not know anyway. Teachers who give any test before the assessment are likely to get low ratings than those who give tests soon after the evaluation.

  • Chris GarbettChris

    Chris Garbett

    Principal Lecturer Leeds Metropolitan University

    I agree with other contributors. The evaluations are akin to a satisfaction survey. Personally, if, for example, I stay at an hotel, I only fill in the satisfaction survey if something is wrong. If the service is as I expect, I don’t bother with the survey.

    I feel also that students rate the courses or modules on a popularity basis. A module on a course may be enjoyable, or fun, but not necessarily better taught than another subject with a less entertaining subject.

    Unfortunately, everyone seems to think that the student evaluations are the main criteria by which to judge a course.

    Olga K. likes this

  • Steve BentonSteve

    Steve Benton

    Senior Research Officer, The IDEA Center

    First of all, it would help if we stop referring to them as “student” or “course” evaluations. Students are not qualified to evaluate. That is what administrators are paid to do. However, students are qualified to provide feedback to instructors and administrators about their perceptions of what occurred in the class and of how much they believe they learned. How can that not be valuable information, especially for developmental purposes about how to teach more effectively? Evaluation is not an event that happens at the end of a course–it is an ongoing process that requires multiple indicators of effectiveness (e.g., student ratings of the course, peer evaluations, administrator evaluations, course design, student products). By triangulating that combination of evidence, administrators and faculty can then make informed judgments and evaluate.

    Olga K. likes this

  • Eytan FichmanEytan

    Eytan Fichman

    Lecturer at Hanoi Architectural University

    The student / teacher relationship around the subject matter is a ‘triangle.’ The character of the triangle has a lot to do with a student’s reception of the of the material and the teacher.

    The Student:
    The well-prepared student and the intrinsically motivated student can more readily thrive in the relationship. If s/he is thriving s/he may be more inclined to rate the teacher highly. The poorly prepared student or the student who requires motivation from ‘outside’ is much less likely to thrive and more likely to rate a teacher poorly.

    The Teacher:
    The well-prepared teacher and the intrinsically motivated teacher can more readily thrive in the relationship. If s/he is thriving students may be more inclined to rate the teacher highly. The poorly prepared teacher or the teacher who requires motivation from ‘outside’ is much less likely to thrive and more likely to achieve poor teacher ratings.

    The Subject Matter:
    The content and form of the subject matter are crucial, especially in their relation to the student and teacher.

  • Daniel GoecknerDaniel

    Daniel Goeckner

    Education Professonal

    Student evaluations do not measure teaching effectiveness. I have been told I walk on water and am the worst teacher ever. The major difference was the level of student participation. The more they participated the better I was.

    What I use them for is a learning tool. I take the comments apart looking for snippets that I can use to improve my teaching.

    I have been involved in a portfolio program the past two years. One consist is the better the measured outcomes, the worse the student reviews.

    • Dr. Pedro L. MartinezDr. Pedro L.

      Dr. Pedro L. Martinez

      Former Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Winston Salem State University & President of HigherEd SC.

      Steve,
      Have you ever been part of a tenure or promotion committee evaluation process? In my 35 years of experience, faculty members do not operate in that ideal smooth linear trajectory that you have described. On the contrary, they partition evaluations into categories and look at student course evaluations as the evidence of an instructor’s ability to teach. However, faculty can choose which evaluations they can submit and what comments they want to include as part of the record. I have never seen “negative comments” as evidence of “ineffective teaching”. The five point scale is used and whenever that falls below a 3.50, it becomes a great concern for our colleagues!

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Sethuraman JambunathaSethuraman

      Sethuraman Jambunatha

      Dean (I & E) at Vinayaka Mission

      There are many other ways of asserting the faculty by the peer group. There can be a weekly seminar and faculty members are expected to give a seminar and other faculty members and students are the audience. This measures how much interest a faculty has in some chosen areas. The Chair (HoD) can talk to some selected students (chosen as representing highly motivated/average/take easy) and reach a decision for tenure-track. As I said earlier the students’ evaluation can be one of many aspects. In my own experience other (senior) faculty evaluation is many times detrimental to the progress of junior faculty. But one ask the HoD is the senior most: but one thing is clear, the chair of the ‘Chair’ has some ‘vision’ and transcends discrimination and partisan feelings. In India we call: “(Sar)Panch me Parameshwar rahtha hai”, meaning: On the position of Judge, God dwells (sits). Think of Becket and the King Henry II. As archbishop, Rev. Thomas Becket was a completely changes person fully submerged in divinity order. So the Chair is supremo. Students evaluation is just

    • Susan WrightSusan

      Susan Wright

      Assistant Professor at Clarkson University

      Amazing how things work…I’m actually in the process of framing out a research project related to this very question. Does anyone have any suggestions for specific papers I should look at i.e. literature related to the topic?

      With respect to your question, I believe the answer depends on the questions that get asked.

    • Sarah LowengardSarah

      Sarah Lowengard

      Researcher, Writer, Editor, Consultant (history, technology, art, sciences)

      I fall on the “no” side too.

      The school-derived questionnaires nearly always ask the wrong questions, for one.

      I’ve always thought students should wait some years (3-20) before providing feedback, because the final day of class is too recent to do a good assessment.

      David Shallenberger likes this

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy Wickins

      Open University Coursework Consultant, Research Methods

      I’m quite late to the topic here, and much of what I think has been said by others. There is a difference between the qualitative and quantitative aspects of student evaluations – I am always fascinated to find out what my students (and peers, of course, though that is a different topic) do/do not think I am doing well so I can learn and adapt my teaching. For this reason, I prefer a more continuous student evaluation than the questionnaire at the end of the course – if I need to adapt to a particular group, I need the information sooner rather than later.

      However, the quantitative side means nothing unless it is tied back to hard data on how the students did in their assessments – an unpopular teacher can still be a *good* teacher of the subject at hand! And the subject matter counts a lot – merely teaching an unpopular but compulsory subject (public law, for instance!) tends to make the teacher initially unpopular in the minds of students – a type of shooting the messenger.

      Teaching isn’t a beauty contest – these metrics need to be used in the right way, and combined with other data if they are to say anything about the teaching.

    • Dr. James R. MartinDr. James R.

      Dr. James R. Martin

      Professor Emeritus

      I wrote a paper about this issue a few years ago. Briefly, the thrust of my argument is that student opinions should not be used as the basis for evaluating teaching effectiveness because these aggregated opinions are invalid measures of quality teaching, provide no empirical evidence in this regard, are incomparable across different courses and different faculty members, promote faculty gaming and competition, tend to distract all participants and observers from the learning mission of the university, and insure the sub-optimization and further decline of the higher education system. Using student opinions to evaluate, compare and subsequently rank faculty members represents a severe form of a problem Deming referred to as a deadly disease of western style management. The theme of the alternative approach is that learning on a program-wide basis should be the primary consideration in the evaluation of teaching effectiveness. Emphasis should shift from student opinion surveys to the development and assessment of program-wide learning outcomes. To achieve this shift in emphasis, the university performance measurement system needs to be redesigned to motivate faculty members to become part of an integrated learning development and assessment team, rather than a group of independent contractors competing for individual rewards.

      Martin, J. R. 1998. Evaluating faculty based on student opinions: Problems, implications and recommendations from Deming’s theory of management perspective. Issues in Accounting Education (November): 1079-1094. http://maaw.info/ArticleSummaries/ArtSumMartinSet98.htm

      Barbara C. likes this

    • Joseph Lennox, Ph.D.Joseph

      Joseph Lennox, Ph.D.

      Consultant & Training Development Specialist at Lennox Consulting, LLC j.r.lennox.consulting@gmail.com

      Top Contributor

      There appears to be general agreement that the answer to the proposed question is “No.”

      The next logical step in the discussion would appear to be, “How would you effectively measure teacher effectiveness?”

      With large enrollment classes, one avenue is here:

      http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/10/11/way-produce-more-information-about-instructors-effectiveness-essay

      So, how should teacher effectiveness be measured?

      Jeremy W.Olga K. like this

    • Ron MelchersRon

      Ron Melchers

      Professor of Criminology, University of Ottawa

      Top Contributor

      To inform this discussion, I would highly recommend this research review done for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. It’s a pretty balanced and well-informed treatment of student course (and teacher) evaluations:http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/Student%20Course%20Evaluations_Research,%20Models%20and%20Trends.pdf

      Joseph L.Ken R. like this

    • Ron MelchersRon

      Ron Melchers

      Professor of Criminology, University of Ottawa

      Top Contributor

      Just to add my own two cents (two and a half Canadian cents at this point), I think students have much of value to tell us about their experience in our courses and classes, information that we can use to improve their learning and become more effective teachers. They are also able to inform academic administrators of the degree to which teachers fulfill their basic duties and perform the elementary tasks they are assigned. They have far less to tell us about the value of what they’re learning to their future, their professions … and they are perhaps not the best qualified to identify effective learning and teaching techniques and methods. Those sorts of things are better assessed by knowledgeable, expert professional and academic peers.

      David Shallenberger likes this

    • Barbara

      Barbara Celia

      Assistant Clinical Professor at Drexel University

      Thank you, Ron. A great deal of info but worth reading and analyzing.

    • Prof. Ravindra Kumar

      Prof. Ravindra Kumar Raghuvanshi

      Member of Academic committees of some Universities & Retd.Prof.,Dept.of Botany,University of Rajasthan,Jaipur.

      Student rating system may not necessarily be a reliable method to assess the teaching
      effeciveness,because it depends upon individual grasping/understanding power, intelligence
      and study tendency A teacher does his/her job well, but how many students understand
      it well. It is reflected invariably in the marks obtained by them.

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What is the difference between education and training?

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 5th January 2014

per LinkedIn discussion: http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=5822757351727316994&gid=2038260&goback=%2Enmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1#commentID_null

What is the difference between education and training?

☆☆☆☆☆ Industrial Automation Training – Industrial Training software to Maintenance, Engineering, Manufacturing.Top Contributor

Schools and companies commonly use the word “Training” when actually all they are delivering is scholastic education. Our company clearly distinguishes between the two which increases our effectiveness and to differentiate what we deliver to customers (what most call students) from others like colleges. I thought it would be interesting to get this group’s members opinion on the difference between “Training” and “Education”, and to get group members thinking about it.

ray schroederray schroeder

Director of the UPCEA Center for Online Leadership and Strategy – and – UIS Associate Vice Chancellor of Online Learning

This is one of those questions, the answers to which will be easy to pick apart. But, I will venture a beginning:

Training is task-oriented. It is circumscribed by circumstances such as location, goal, job, career. Training’s intent is to master a task, method or approach.

Education is a broader activity that spans locations, goals, careers. Education’s intent is life guiding, life changing and lasting.

Training can have lifelong import. But, the focus is on a specific task or goal.

Education often includes task-learning.

Enough. A more important task now demands my attention – breakfast – I have been trained well for this lifelong task.

-ray

 

Rahat iqbal

Executive Director at SCI-EDUCATION SYSTEM,LONDON UK

Training direct develop skills for different profession but education reflects research and update knowledge.

Jolly Holden Jolly Holden

Faculty at American InterContinental University

When asked the difference between education and training, a 4-star general replied…do you want your daughter to have sex training or sex education? Nearly everyone in the audience (1,000+) fell out of there seats. After the laughter subsided, the general went on to reply “fundamentally, education is focused on developing critical thinking skills (know why) that help enable creative solutions, whereas training is about developing specific skill sets (know how) for consistently reliable results.” That said, while there is a large grey area between training and education, per se, when does education stop and training begin, the outcome of both is learning. As a former Air Force flight instructor, I told my students they are educated in the aerodynamics of flight, but trained on how to fly.

Joy Scott Joy Scott

Workplace Performance Improvement, Training, Instructional Design, Independent Writer

I just finished reading The Eden Conspiracy: Educating for Accomplished Citizenship by Joe Harless (1998). He explains (p. 157): “Training and education are often differentiated by saying education is to provide knowledge for unpredictable circumstances; training is for predictable circumstances.”

He also states education is provided in school, (K-college) and training is provided after school (knowledge and skills provided on-the-job). Since Harless published this book, the delivery options of education and training has changed, thanks to the Internet. Education and training can occur anywhere, and without proper context, someone can mix the labels and confuse being trained for a specific task with being educated about something they can use to determine if they should use the task they’ve been trained on.

Harless, J. (1998). The Eden Conspiracy: Educating for Accomplished Citizenship . Wheaton, IL: Guild V Publications.

Posted in distance learning, distributive learning, online learning, pedagogy, Project Based Learning, teaching | No Comments »

rubrics for assessment

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 31st December 2013

http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/rubrics.cfm#web2

A collection of rubrics for assessing portfolios, cooperative learning, research process/ report, PowerPoint, podcast, oral presentation, web page, blog, wiki, and other web 2.0 projects.

Posted in evaluation, teaching | No Comments »

10 Web Resources For Teaching About Controversy

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 5th December 2013

10 Web Resources For Teaching About Controversy

http://www.edudemic.com/teaching-about-controversy/

The last example:

Driving Men Crazy in Saudi Arabia: Women’s Rights

was part of my “debate” class assignment in my HONS 221 class

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Integrating Web 2.0 Across the Curriculum

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 3rd December 2013

Integrating Web 2.0 Across the Curriculum

Oliver, K. (2010). Integrating Web 2.0 Across the Curriculum. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning54(2), 50-60.

http://login.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=aph&AN=48574971  PDF available.

Blogs and wikis are among the most frequently cited Web 2.0 tools, but they are just the tip of an integration iceberg

many titles, including Web 2.0, the “read-write Web” (Richardson, 2005-2006), browser-based applications (Descy, 2007) and school 2.0 or classroom 2.0 (Lankshear & Knobel, 2007; Lehmann, 2007).

http://preezo.com/

http://quizlet.com/ see blog entry http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/11/27/language-and-technology-learn-easy-and-funny/

Posted in information technology, instructional technology, online learning, social media, teaching, technology | No Comments »