A defense of student evaluations: They’re biased, misleading, and extremely useful.
The answer requires us to think about power. If you look hard at the structure of academia, you will see a lot of teachers who, in one way or another, lack power: adjuncts and term hires (a large population, and growing); untenured faculty (especially in universities like mine); faculty, even tenured faculty, in schools where budget cuts loom; graduate students, always and everywhere. You might see evaluations as instruments by which students, or administrators, exercise power over those vulnerable employees. But if you are a student, and especially if you are a student who cares what grades you get or who needs recommendations, then teachers, for you—even adjuncts and graduate teaching assistants—hold power.
Chairmen and deans also need to know when classroom teaching fails: when a professor makes catastrophically wrong assumptions as to what students already know, for example, or when students find a professor incomprehensible thanks to her thick Scottish accent. My note: indeed, when chairmen and deans KNOW what they are doing and are NOT using evaluations for their own power.
Student Course Evaluations Get An ‘F’ : NPR Ed : NPR
Philip Stark is the chairman of the statistics department at the University of California, Berkeley. “I’ve been teaching at Berkeley since 1988, and the reliance on teaching evaluations has always bothered me,” he says.
Stark is the co-author of “An Evaluation of Course Evaluations,” a new paper that explains some of the reasons why.
Michele Pellizzari, an economics professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, has a more serious claim: that course evaluations may in fact measure, and thus motivate, the opposite of good teaching. Here’s what he found. The better the professors were, as measured by their students’ grades in later classes, the lower their ratings from students.
“Show me your stuff,” Stark says. “Syllabi, handouts, exams, video recordings of class, samples of students’ work. Let me know how your students do when they graduate. That seems like a much more holistic appraisal than simply asking students what they think.”
Big Data is Finally Coming to Education Here’s What We’ve Learned So Far
Long lectures don’t work.
The best predictor of future course behavior is past course behavior.
Data from MOOCs suggest that one way to boost completion rates is to increase engagement early in the course.
Even in online courses, offline support is essential.
More IMS blog entries on Big Data:
Pls have a link to the PDF file
Here some opinions from the comments section:
Formative assessments are only good if you use them to alter your teaching or for students to adjust their learning. Too often, I’ve seen exit tickets used and nothing is done with the results.
Please consider other IMS blog postings on assessment
No Child Left Behind and other programs that emphasized standardized tests increased this problem, according to Maggiano. The more the school system relies on standardized testing, he says, the more difficult it is for teachers to foster critical thinking and other useful skills.
Award-winning Virginia teacher: ‘I can no longer cooperate’ with testing regime
ey ideas in game-based learning, pedagogy, implementation, and assessment. This guide makes sense of the available research and provides suggestions for practical use.
1) Start Where Your Students Are …
2) Know Where Your Students Are Going …
3) Expect Students To Get To Their Goals
4) Support Students Along The Way
http://www.transl8it.com – (English to text lingo conversion – I blogged about this last night – see my post below).
Google Translate – Language translation – spells it (correctly and phonetically), and says it.
Skype – great for author conferences, social studies (talk to people in other countries), keep a student connected who has been absent, or is away on a trip.
https://posterous.com/ – easy way to create your own blog through your email – great for setting up a class blog to keep students / parents informed.
5) Use Feedback
edmodo.com – It’s almost like a kind of facebook – but you can set it up for your classroom – post questions, reading clubs, etc. and give feedback to students as they answer questions.
https://docs.google.com – Students can use this for their writing assignments, and not worry about bringing files back and forth to school. Teachers have access to the page to make corrections / give feedback throughout the writing process.
6) Focus on Quality Rather Than Quantity
edu.glogster.com – I’ve set up an account with glogster so we can make multi-media posters next year. I can so see myself using this with science / social studies.
http://www.animoto.com/education – A site for making movies and slideshows.
photopeach.com/education – Another site for making movies and slideshows.
http://www.jaycut.com – Yet another site for making movies and slideshows – this one looks like it has a few more features (like slow-motion).
blabberize.com – Bring your still pictures to life by making them talk – I can so see myself using this next year with my SMARTboard lessons! Wouldn’t it be cool to make a fraction talk and explain how to do a concept during a math lesson?!?
http://www.wikispaces.com – I am definitely going to investigate this one further. I’d like to make a wiki for one of my science units next year – assigning students a different part or concept, and then putting it all together. We could even print off the pages later and turn them into our own reference book.
livebinder.com – A lot of the teachers at the webinar talked about how they would use this resource to set up student portfolios … hmmmmm … intriguing.
epubbud.com – Students can create their own ebooks (which other people can access) and display them on a shelf (similar in looks to shelfari). A great way to publish their writing, and make the writing process more authentic for them.
http://www.prezi.com – Another multi-media site great for presentations. Use as an introduction to a new unit, or have students create their own presentations for a certain topic.
7) Never Work Harder Than Your Students
Communicating Students convey information, describe process, and express ideas in accurate, engaging, and understandable ways.
Researching Students identify and access a variety of resources through which they retrieve and organize data they have determined to be authentic and potentially relevant to their task.
Thinking Critically Students use structured methods to weigh the relevance and impact of their decisions and actions against desired outcomes and adjust accordingly.
Thinking Creatively Students comprehend and employ principles of creative and productive problem solving to understand and mitigate real-world problems.
Keep in mind, however, that standards don’t prepare students for anything. They are a framework of expectations and educational objectives. Without the organization and processes to achieve them, they are worthless.
Significance An instructionally useful assessment measures students’ attainment of a worthwhile curricular aim—for instance, a high-level cognitive skill or a substantial body of important knowledge.
Teachability An instructionally useful assessment measures something teachable. Teachability means that most teachers, if they deliver reasonably effective instruction aimed at the assessment’s targets, can get most of their students to master what the test measures.
Describability A useful assessment provides or is directly based on sufficiently clear descriptions of the skills and knowledge it measures so that teachers can design properly focused instructional activities.
Reportability An instructionally useful assessment yields results at a specific enough level to inform teachers about the effectiveness of the instruction they provide.
Nonintrusiveness In clear recognition that testing time takes away from teaching time, an instructionally useful assessment shouldn’t take too long to administer—it should not intrude excessively on instructional activities.
In The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction, author Robert J. Marzano presents a model for ensuring quality teaching that balances the necessity of research-based data with the equally vital need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of individual students.
the basis of the ten design questions are to be used by teachers to plan effective units and lessons as well as execute them. Remember what works well with one child may not with another.
1.What will I do to establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress, and celebrate success?
2. What will I do to help students effectively interact with new knowledge?
3. What will I do to help students practice and deepen their understanding of new knowledge?
4. What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge?
5. What will I do to engage students?
6. What will I do to establish or maintain classroom rules and procedures?
7. What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence and lack of adherence to classroom rules and procedures?
8. What will I do to establish and maintain effective relationships with students?
9. What will I do to communicate high expectations for all students?
10. What will I do to develop effective lessons organized into a cohesive unit?