Searching for "history"

Backchannel: is it only K12 moving that direction?

backchannel — a digital conversation that runs concurrently with a face-to-face activity — provides students with an outlet to engage in conversation.

In a recent article by Edutopia:
The Backchannel: Giving Every Student a Voice in the Blended Mobile Classroom. (n.d.). Edutopia. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/backchannel-student-voice-blended-classroom-beth-holland

the author brings yet another argument in support of using the BYOD movement in K12 to promote usage of mobile devices and social media FOR the learning process, rather then seeking ways to shut them off.
It seems that Higher Ed is lagging behind in their paradigm shift toward Backchanneling.
What do you think must be done at SCSU to seek the usage of mobile devices and/or social media to involved students in the learning process?
Pollard, E. A. (2014). Tweeting on the Backchannel of the Jumbo-Sized Lecture Hall: Maximizing Collective Learning in a World History Survey. History Teacher, 47(3), 329-354.
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Cronin, J. J. (2011). The Classroom as a Virtual Community: An Experience with Student Backchannel Discourse. Business Education Innovation Journal, 3(2), 56-65.
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Pohl, A., Gehlen-Baum, V., & Bry, F. (2012). Enhancing the Digital Backchannel Backstage on the Basis of a Formative User Study. International Journal Of Emerging Technologies In Learning, 7(1), 33.
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Jarrett, K., & Devine, M. A. (2010). How to use backchanneling in your classroom. Education Digest, (1), 41.
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Reid, A. (2011). Social media assemblages in digital humanities: From backchannel to buzz. doi:10.1108/S2044-9968(2011)0000003019
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Academic Libraries and Social Media – bibliography

  1. Zohoorian-Fooladi, N., & Abrizah, A. A. (2014). Academic librarians and their social media presence: a story of motivations and deterrents. Information Development30(2), 159-171.
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    Librarians also believed that social media tools are suitable not only to communicate with users but also
    to facilitate the interaction of librarians with each other by creating librarian groups.
    Librarians also believed that social media tools are suitable not only to communicate with users but also
    to facilitate the interaction of librarians with each other by creating librarian groups. (p. 169)
  2. Collins, G., & Quan-Haase, A. (2014). Are Social Media Ubiquitous in Academic Libraries? A Longitudinal Study of Adoption and Usage Patterns. Journal Of Web Librarianship8(1), 48-68. doi:10.1080/19322909.2014.873663
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  3. Reynolds, L. M., Smith, S. E., & D’Silva, M. U. (2013). The Search for Elusive Social Media Data: An Evolving Librarian-Faculty Collaboration. Journal Of Academic Librarianship39(5), 378-384. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2013.02.007
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  4. Chawner, B., & Oliver, G. (2013). A survey of New Zealand academic reference librarians: Current and future skills and competencies. Australian Academic & Research Libraries44(1), 29-39. doi:10.1080/00048623.2013.773865
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  5. Lilburn, J. (2012). Commercial Social Media and the Erosion of the Commons: Implications for Academic Libraries. Portal: Libraries And The Academy12(2), 139-153.
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    The general consensus emerging to date is that the Web 2.0 applications now widely used in academic libraries have given librarians new tools for interacting with users, promoting services, publicizing events and teaching information literacy skills. We are, by now, well versed in the language of Web 2.0. The 2.0 tools – wikis, blogs, microblogs, social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, video or photo sharing sites, to name just a few – are said to be open, user-centered, and to increase user engagement, interaction, collaboration, and participation. Web 2.0 is said to “empower creativity, to democratize media production, and to celebrate the individual while also relishing the power of collaboration and social networks.”4 All of this is in contrast with what is now viewed as the static, less interactive, less empowering pre-Web 2.0 online environment. (p. 140)
    Taking into account the social, political, economic, and ethical issues associated with Web 2.0, other scholars raise questions about the generally accepted understanding of the benefits of Web 2.0. p. 141
  6. The decision to integrate commercial social media into existing library services seems almost inevitable, if not compulsory. Yet, research that considers the short- and long-term implications of this decision remains lacking. As discussed in the sections above, where and how institutions choose to establish a social media presence is significant. It confers meaning. Likewise, the absence of a presence can also confer meaning, and future p. 149
  7. Nicholas, D., Watkinson, A., Rowlands, I., & Jubb, M. (2011). Social Media, Academic Research and the Role of University Libraries. Journal Of Academic Librarianship37(5), 373-375. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2011.06.023
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  8. BROWN, K., LASTRES, S., & MURRAY, J. (2013). Social Media Strategies and Your Library. Information Outlook,17(2), 22-24.
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    Establishing an open leadership relationship with these stakeholders necessitates practicing five rules of open leadership: (1) respecting the power that your patrons and employees have in their relationship with you and others, (2) sharing content constantly to assist in building trust, (3) nurturing curiosity and humility in yourself as well as in others, (4) holding openness accountable, and (5) forgiving the failures of others and yourself. The budding relationships that will flourish as a result of applying these rules will reward each party involved.
    Whether you intend it or not, your organization’s leaders are part of your audience. As a result, you must know your organization’s policies and practices (in addition to its people) if you hope to succeed with social media. My note: so, if one defines a very narrow[sided] policy, then the entire social media enterprise is….
    Third, be a leader and a follower. My note: not a Web 1.0 – type of control freak, where content must come ONLY from you and be vetoed by you
    !
    All library staff have their own login accounts and are expected to contribute to and review
  9. Dority Baker, M. L. (2013). Using Buttons to Better Manage Online Presence: How One Academic Institution Harnessed the Power of Flair. Journal Of Web Librarianship7(3), 322-332. doi:10.1080/19322909.2013.789333
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    his project was a partnership between the Law College Communications Department, Law College Administration, and the Law Library, involving law faculty, staff, and librarians.
  10. Van Wyk, J. (2009). Engaging academia through Library 2.0 tools : a case study : Education Library, University of Pretoria.
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  11. Paul, J., Baker, H. M., & Cochran, J. (2012). Effect of online social networking on student academic performance.Computers In Human Behavior28(6), 2117-2127. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.06.016
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    #SocialMedia and  students place a higher value on the technologies their instructors use effectively in the classroom. a negative impact of social media usage on academic performance. rather CONSERVATIVE conclusions.
    Students should be made aware of the detrimental impact of online social networking on their potential academic performance. In addition to recommending changes in social networking related behavior based on our study results, findings with regard to relationships between academic performance and factors such as academic competence, time management skills, attention span, etc., suggest the need for academic institutions and faculty to put adequate emphasis on improving the student’s ability to manage time efficiently and to develop better study strategies. This could be achieved via workshops and seminars that familiarize and train students to use new and intuitive tools such as online calendars, reminders, etc. For example, online calendars are accessible in many devices and can be setup to send a text message or email reminder of events or due dates. There are also online applications that can help students organize assignments and task on a day-to-day basis. Further, such workshops could be a requirement of admission to academic programs. In the light of our results on relationship between attention span and academic performance, instructors could use mandatory policies disallowing use of phones and computers unless required for course purposes. My note: I completely disagree with the this decision: it can be argued that instructors must make their content delivery more engaging and thus, electronic devices will not be used for distraction
  12. MANGAN, K. (2012). Social Networks for Academics Proliferate, Despite Some Doubts. Chronicle Of Higher Education58(35), A20.
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    Academia.edu
    While Mendeley’s users tend to have scientific backgrounds, Zotero offers similar technical tools for researchers in other disciplines, including many in the humanities. The free system helps researchers collect, organize, share, and cite research sources.
    “After six years of running Zotero, it’s not clear that there is a whole lot of social value to academic social networks,” says Sean Takats, the site’s director, who is an assistant professor of history at George Mason University. “Everyone uses Twitter, which is an easy way to pop up on other people’s radar screens without having to formally join a network.
  13. Beech, M. (2014). Key Issue – How to share and discuss your research successfully online. Insights: The UKSG Journal27(1), 92-95. doi:10.1629/2048-7754.142
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    the dissemination of academic research over the internet and presents five tenets to engage the audience online. It comments on targeting an audience for the research and suggests the online social networks Twitter,LinkedIn, and ResearchGate as venues. It talks about the need to relate work with the target audience and examines the use of storytelling and blogs. It mentions engaging in online discussions and talks about open access research

Libraries social media from James Neal

Social media in libraries from Ecobibl Marianne

Social Media, Libraries, and Web 2.0: How American Libraries are Using New Tools for Public Relations and to Attract New Users from Curtis Rogers

Social Media usage in libraries in Europe – survey findings from EBSCO Information Services

Using Social Media in Canadian Academic Libraries, a 2010 CARL ABRC Libraries Survey from Dean Giustini

Social media adoption, policy and development by Daniel Hooker from Dean Giustini

Minecraft: Games and Gamification

The Minecraft Experience Panel Presentation Games for Change NYC April 24th 2014

http://www.minecraftexperience.net/G4C2014+Panel

Extended Description:

Last year at G4C Nick Fortugno threw some controversy into the conversation about Minecraft by suggesting Minecraft was not a game but a toy. The proposed panel extends that conversation by asking what is the Minecraft experience, can it be defined or categorised and what as game designers and exponents can we take from understanding its zeitgeist and the impact it has had on the serious gaming landscape?

In 2012/23 at both GLS and G4C many presenters made jokes about including the obligatory Minecraft slide and for very good reasons. Minecraft is arguably a game of immense impact. It has been embraced as part of learning programs focussing on seemingly disparate areas from digital citizenship, history, coding and the maker movement. It is probably the first game brought into the classroom by teachers to leverage the out of school groundswell of existing player excitement. It’s impact is multi generational and perhaps more global than any game before it. The fan base and user community/ies are strong and well supported and exemplar of the potential Jim Gee describes for Big G game. This panel proposes to leverage that Big G space in the lead up to Games for Change 2014 and to honor the voices of its players.

Minecraft has been variously described as a game, toy sandpit, learning space, creative environment, virtual world, and game-infused service. But what really are the affordances of this blocky 16 bit program and how can we even begin to define its value to learning? Enter the Minecraft Experience, a global crowdsourced program managed by Bron Stuckey of The Massively Minecraft Project. People engaging in Minecraft activities about the globe are being invited to describe Minecraft in all its contexts and adaptations. The categories for these experiences will emerge from the crowd sourced content as members contribute thoughts, media, resources and questions to build the __Minecraft Experience__ evidence base.

This panel of notable speakers has been drawn together to answer provocative questions about Minecraft’s success and define its relationship to and impact on learning. The panelists have been chosen to represent play in many contexts formal education, informal learning, self-organised learning, schools and non-school contexts. They include game designers, educators, researchers, learners and parents who have each had a personal and professional experience of this and many other games.

Panelists take a position on the Minecraft experience and use the resources provided by members of the project to inform, support and evidence their case.

How are players, educators and researchers invited to contribute?

  • project wiki to prod, poke, stimulate and support crowd sourced content and dialog
  • live youth speakers on the panel
  • social media and wiki activity in lead-up using selected #minecraftproject
  • video inclusions of educators, parents, kids/youth arguments, evidence and questions
  • promotion of youth media pieces from existing YouTube etc to support and stimulate various provocative dialogs
  • livestream of the panel to global contributors with live feedback and questions.

Who could benefit from joining this project and attending the G4C 2014 panel session?

  • Educators seeking to understand Minecraft’s value to learning
  • Programs seeking to adapt Minecraft as part of a program of impact or change.
  • Game designers seeking to build in its wake
  • Anyone wanting to consider issues of fidelity, adaptation, constructionism, popular culture, and impact in gaming.

http://www.stevehargadon.com/2014/04/learning-revolution-conference-schedule.html

http://www.connectsafely.org/teacher-teaching-minecraft-looks-like/

http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-f=1_10785583&N-fa=3358517&N-p=105030132&N-play=0&N-s=1_10785583&N-u=1_372724

http://gamesandimpact.org/members/bronst/activity/friends/

Center for Democracy & Technology

Big Data and Privacy

April 17, 2014

Big data has been generating big hype for a while. In January, the White House jumped into the fray, launching a big data and privacy review. CDT participated in all three public workshops convened in connection with the review and submitted written comments.

CDT’s Big Data and Privacy Comments

In our comments, we focused on three main areas: applying the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) to both private sector and government big data programs; exploring technical measures such as de-identification to safeguard privacy; and reforming existing privacy laws, most notably the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, to account for rapid changes in the ways that digital data is collected, stored, and used.

CDT stressed that, as entities collect more data to offer innovative products and more efficient services, they must still be guided by purpose specification, consent, security, and the other elements of the FIPPs framework.

Government and Big Data

“Strong consensus is forming that the bulk collection of phone records should end.”

-Harley Geiger

The Administration says that it will end its bulk collection of telephony metadata, although the details of what will replace it remain unsettled. Meanwhile, CDT is pointing out that the laws the government has used to justify bulk collection are not limited just to phone records. Instead, they could be used to justify collection of location data, Internet browsing history, financial records, and more. CDT has been vocal in advocating the end of all forms of bulk collection, and we endorse the USA FREEDOM Act as the best legislation to do just that.

A report from the White House review is due before the end of April, but it is expected to present more questions than answers. In this complex and unsettled space, CDT will continue to work with companies and other stakeholders to develop workable approaches that will protect privacy while pursuing the benefits promised by advanced data analytics.


Check Out CDT’s New Website

CDT has launched a totally revamped website: http://www.cdt.org. It has a fresh new look and tools that should make our content more easily accessible. Thanks to our partners at iStrategy Labs for their creative and technical efforts on the new site.

Do student evaluations measure teaching effectiveness?

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?

—————————-

  • 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.

     

  • 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.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?” data-li-editable=”false” data-li-edit-sec-left=”900″ data-li-time=”” />

      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.

Translating Constructivism into Instructional Design: Potential and Limitations.

Karagiorgi, Y., & Symeou, L. (2005). Translating Constructivism into Instructional Design: Potential and Limitations. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 8(1), 17–27.
http://login.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=aph&AN=85866335 PDF available
p. 18 Knowledge for constructivism cannot be imposed or transferred intact from the mind of one knower to the mind of another. Therefore, learning and teaching cannot be synonymous: we can teach, even well, without having students learn
p. 19 In the traditional approach, the instructional designer analyses the conditions – such as the content, the learner, and the instructional setting – which bear on the instructional system, in preparation for the specification of intended learning outcomes. In the constructivist approach, the instructional content cannot be pre-specified. Constructivist designers avoid the breaking down of context into component parts as traditional instructional designers do, but are in favour of environments in which knowledge, skills, and complexity exist naturally.
The goal, for instance, is not to teach a particular version of history, but to teach someone how to think like a historian.
p. 19 In traditional instruction, this phase involves the design of a sequence to achieve specified performance objectives.
Yiasemina Karagiorgi

On teaching and libraries: excerpt from an interview of “Spiegel” with Umberto Eco

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/spiegel-interview-with-umberto-eco-we-like-lists-because-we-don-t-want-to-die-a-659577-2.html

SPIEGEL: But you also said that lists can establish order. So, do both order and anarchy apply? That would make the Internet, and the lists that the search engine Google creates, prefect for you.

Eco: Yes, in the case of Google, both things do converge. Google makes a list, but the minute I look at my Google-generated list, it has already changed. These lists can be dangerous — not for old people like me, who have acquired their knowledge in another way, but for young people, for whom Google is a tragedy. Schools ought to teach the high art of how to be discriminating.

SPIEGEL: Are you saying that teachers should instruct students on the difference between good and bad? If so, how should they do that?

Eco: Education should return to the way it was in the workshops of the Renaissance. There, the masters may not necessarily have been able to explain to their students why a painting was good in theoretical terms, but they did so in more practical ways. Look, this is what your finger can look like, and this is what it has to look like. Look, this is a good mixing of colors. The same approach should be used in school when dealing with the Internet. The teacher should say: “Choose any old subject, whether it be German history or the life of ants. Search 25 different Web pages and, by comparing them, try to figure out which one has good information.” If 10 pages describe the same thing, it can be a sign that the information printed there is correct. But it can also be a sign that some sites merely copied the others’ mistakes.

SPIEGEL: You yourself are more likely to work with books, and you have a library of 30,000 volumes. It probably doesn’t work without a list or catalogue.

Eco: I’m afraid that, by now, it might actually be 50,000 books. When my secretary wanted to catalogue them, I asked her not to. My interests change constantly, and so does my library. By the way, if you constantly change your interests, your library will constantly be saying something different about you. Besides, even without a catalogue, I’m forced to remember my books. I have a hallway for literature that’s 70 meters long. I walk through it several times a day, and I feel good when I do. Culture isn’t knowing when Napoleon died. Culture means knowing how I can find out in two minutes. Of course, nowadays I can find this kind of information on the Internet in no time. But, as I said, you never know with the Internet.

 

clickers documentation

Thursday, April 11, 11AM-1PM, Miller Center B-37
and/or
http://media4.stcloudstate.edu/scsu

We invite the campus community to a presentation by three vendors of Classroom Response System (CRS), AKA “clickers”:

11:00-11:30AM          Poll Everywhere,              Mr. Alec Nuñez

11:30-12:00PM          iClikers,                                Mr. Jeff Howard
12:00-12:30PM          Top Hat Monocle             Mr. Steve Popovich

12:30-1PM                  Turning Technologies     Mr. Jordan Ferns

links to documentation from the vendors:

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/ClickerSummaryReport_NDSU.docx 

 http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/Poll%20Everywhere.docx

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/tophat1.pdf

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/tophat2.pdf

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/turning.pdf

Top Hat Monocle docs:

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/thm/FERPA.pdf

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/thm/proposal.pdf

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/thm/THM_CaseStudy_Eng.pdf

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/thm/thm_vsCRS.pdf

iCLicker docs:
http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/iclicker/iclicker.pdf

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/iclicker/iclicker2VPAT.pdf

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/crs/iclicker/responses.doc

 

Questions to vendor: alec@polleverywhere.com 
  1. 1.     Is your system proprietary as far as the handheld device and the operating system software?

The site and the service are the property of Poll Everywhere. We do not provide handheld devices. Participants use their own device be it a smart phone, cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc.

  1. 2.     Describe the scalability of your system, from small classes (20-30) to large auditorium classes. (500+).

Poll Everywhere is used daily by thousands of users. Audience sizes upwards of 500+ are not uncommon. We’ve been used for events with 30,000 simultaneous participants in the past.

  1. 3.     Is your system receiver/transmitter based, wi-fi based, or other?

N/A

  1. 4.     What is the usual process for students to register a “CRS”(or other device) for a course? List all of the possible ways a student could register their device. Could a campus offer this service rather than through your system? If so, how?

Student participants may register by filling out a form. Or, student information can be uploaded via a CSV.

  1. 5.     Once a “CRS” is purchased  can it be used for as long as the student is enrolled in classes? Could “CRS” purchases be made available through the campus bookstore? Once a student purchases a “clicker” are they able to transfer ownership when finished with it?

N/A. Poll Everywhere sells service licenses the length and number of students supported would be outlined in a services agreement.

  1. 6.     Will your operating software integrate with other standard database formats? If so, list which ones.

Need more information to answer.

  1. 7.     Describe the support levels you provide. If you offer maintenance agreements, describe what is covered.

8am to 8pm EST native English speaking phone support and email support.

  1. 8.     What is your company’s history in providing this type of technology? Provide a list of higher education clients.

Company pioneered and invented the use of this technology for audience and classroom response. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poll_Everywhere. University of Notre Dame
South Bend, Indiana

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Raleigh, North Carolina

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California

San Diego State University
San Diego, California

Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama

King’s College London
London, United Kingdom

Raffles Institution
Singapore

Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Pepperdine University
Malibu, California

Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas

University of Illinois
Champaign, Illinois

  1. 9.     What measures does your company take to insure student data privacy? Is your system in compliance with FERPA and the Minnesota Data Practices Act? (https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=13&view=chapter)

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: http://www.polleverywhere.com/privacy-policy. We take privacy very seriously.

  1. 10.  What personal data does your company collect on students and for what purpose? Is it shared or sold to others? How is it protected?

Name. Phone Number. Email. For the purposes of voting and identification (Graded quizzes, attendance, polls, etc.). It is never shared or sold to others.

  1. 11.  Do any of your business partners collect personal information about students that use your technology?

No.

  1. 12.  With what formats can test/quiz questions be imported/exported?

Import via text. Export via CSV.

  1. 13.  List compatible operating systems (e.g., Windows, Macintosh, Palm, Android)?

Works via standard web technology including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Participant web voting fully supported on Android and IOS devices. Text message participation supported via both shortcode and longcode formats.

  1. 14.  What are the total costs to students including device costs and periodic or one-time operation costs

Depends on negotiated service level agreement. We offer a student pays model at $14 per year or Institutional Licensing.

  1. 15.  Describe your costs to the institution.

Depends on negotiated service level agreement. We offer a student pays model at $14 per year or Institutional Licensing.

  1. 16.  Describe how your software integrates with PowerPoint or other presentation systems.

Downloadable slides from the website for Windows PowerPoint and downloadable app for PowerPoint and Keynote integration on a Mac.

17. State your level of integration with Desire2Learn (D2L)?Does the integration require a server or other additional equipment the campus must purchase?Export results from site via CSV for import into D2L.
  1. 17.  How does your company address disability accommodation for your product?

We follow the latest web standards best practices to make our website widely accessible by all. To make sure we live up to this, we test our website in a text-based browser called Lynx that makes sure we’re structuring our content correctly for screen readers and other assisted technologies.

  1. 18.  Does your software limit the number of answers per question in tests or quizzes? If so, what is the max question limit?

No.

  1. 19.  Does your software provide for integrating multimedia files? If so, list the file format types supported.

Supports image formats (.PNG, .GIF, .JPG).

  1. 20.  What has been your historic schedule for software releases and what pricing mechanism do you make available to your clients for upgrading?

We ship new code daily. New features are released several times a year depending on when we finish them. New features are released to the website for use by all subscribers.

  1. 21.  Describe your “CRS”(s).

Poll Everywhere is a web based classroom response system that allows students to participate from their existing devices. No expensive hardware “clickers” are required. More information can be found at  http://www.polleverywhere.com/classroom-response-system.

  1. 22.  If applicable, what is the average life span of a battery in your device and what battery type does it take?

N/A. Battery manufacturers hate us. Thirty percent of their annual profits can be contributed to their use in clickers (we made that up).

  1. 23.  Does your system automatically save upon shutdown?

Our is a “cloud based” system. User data is stored there even when your computer is not on.

  1. 24.  What is your company’s projection/vision for this technology in the near and far term.

We want to take clicker companies out of business. We think it’s ridiculous to charge students and institutions a premium for outdated technology when existing devices and standard web technology can be used instead for less than a tenth of the price.

  1. 25.  Does any of your software/apps require administrator permission to install?

No.

  1. 26.  If your system is radio frequency based, what frequency spectrum does it operate in? If the system operate in the 2.4-2.5 ghz. spectrum, have you tested to insure that smart phones, wireless tablet’s and laptops and 2.4 ghz. wireless phones do not affect your system? If so, what are the results of those tests?

No.

  1. 27.  What impact to the wireless network does the solution have?

Depends on a variety of factors. Most university wireless networks are capable of supporting Poll Everywhere. Poll Everywhere can also make use of cell phone carrier infrastructure through SMS and data networks on the students phones.

  1. 28.  Can the audience response system be used spontaneously for polling?

Yes.

  1. 29.  Can quiz questions and response distributions be imported and exported from and to plaintext or a portable format? (motivated by assessment & accreditation requirements).

Yes.

  1. 30.  Is there a requirement that a portion of the course grade be based on the audience response system?

No.

Gloria Sheldon
MSU Moorhead

Fall 2011 Student Response System Pilot

Summary Report

 

NDSU has been standardized on a single student response (i.e., “clicker”) system for over a decade, with the intent to provide a reliable system for students and faculty that can be effectively and efficiently supported by ITS. In April 2011, Instructional Services made the decision to explore other response options and to identify a suitable replacement product for the previously used e-Instruction Personal Response System (PRS). At the time, PRS was laden with technical problems that rendered the system ineffective and unsupportable. That system also had a steep learning curve, was difficult to navigate, and was unnecessarily time-consuming to use. In fact, many universities across the U.S. experienced similar problems with PRS and have since then adopted alternative systems.

A pilot to explore alternative response systems was initiated at NDSU in fall 2011. The pilot was aimed at further investigating two systems—Turning Technologies and iClicker—in realistic classroom environments. As part of this pilot program, each company agreed to supply required hardware and software at no cost to faculty or students. Each vendor also visited campus to demonstrate their product to faculty, students and staff.

An open invitation to participate in the pilot was extended to all NDSU faculty on a first come, first serve basis. Of those who indicated interest, 12 were included as participants in this pilot.

 

Pilot Faculty Participants:

  • Angela Hodgson (Biological Sciences)
  • Ed Deckard (AES Plant Science)
  • Mary Wright (Nursing)
  • Larry Peterson (History, Philosophy & Religious Studies)
  • Ronald Degges (Statistics)
  • Julia Bowsher (Biological Sciences)
  • Sanku Mallik (Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • Adnan Akyuz (AES School of Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Lonnie Hass (Mathematics)
  • Nancy Lilleberg (ITS/Communications)
  • Lisa Montplaisir (Biological Sciences)
  • Lioudmila Kryjevskaia (Physics)

 

Pilot Overview

The pilot included three components: 1) Vendor demonstrations, 2) in-class testing of the two systems, and 3) side-by-side faculty demonstrations of the two systems.

After exploring several systems, Instructional Services narrowed down to two viable options—Turning Technologies and iClicker. Both of these systems met initial criteria that was assembled based on faculty input and previous usage of the existing response system. These criteria included durability, reliability, ease of use, radio frequency transmission, integration with Blackboard LMS, cross-platform compatibility (Mac, PC), stand-alone software (i.e., no longer tied to PowerPoint or other programs), multiple answer formats (including multiple choice, true/false, numeric), potential to migrate to mobile/Web solutions at some point in the future, and cost to students and the university.

In the first stage of the pilot, both vendors were invited to campus to demonstrate their respective technologies. These presentations took place during spring semester 2011 and were attended by faculty, staff and students. The purpose of these presentations was to introduce both systems and provide faculty, staff, and students with an opportunity to take a more hands-on look at the systems and provide their initial feedback.

In the second stage of the pilot, faculty were invited to test the technologies in their classes during fall semester 2011. Both vendors supplied required hardware and software at no cost to faculty and students, and both provided online training to orient faculty to their respective system. Additionally, Instructional Services staff provided follow-up support and training throughout the pilot program. Both vendors were requested to ensure system integration with Blackboard. Both vendors indicated that they would provide the number of clickers necessary to test the systems equally across campus. Both clickers were allocated to courses of varying sizes, ranging from 9 to 400+ students, to test viability in various facilities with differing numbers of users. Participating faculty agreed to offer personal feedback and collect feedback from students regarding experiences with the systems at the end of the pilot.

In the final stage of the pilot, Instructional Services facilitated a side-by-side demonstration led by two faculty members. Each faculty member showcased each product on a function-by-function basis so that attendees were able to easily compare and contrast the two systems. Feedback was collected from attendees.

 

Results of Pilot

In stage one, we established that both systems were viable and appeared to offer similar features, functions, and were compatible with existing IT systems at NDSU. The determination was made to include both products in a larger classroom trial.

In stage two, we discovered that both systems largely functioned as intended; however, several differences between the technologies in terms of advantages and disadvantages were discovered that influenced our final recommendation. (See Appendix A for a list of these advantages, disadvantages, and potential workarounds.) We also encountered two significant issues that altered the course of the pilot. Initially, it was intended that both systems would be tested in equal number in terms of courses and students. Unfortunately, at the time of the pilot, iClicker was not able to provide more than 675 clickers, which was far fewer than anticipated. Turning Technologies was able to provide 1,395 clickers. As a result, Turning Technologies was used by a larger number of faculty and students across campus.

At the beginning of the pilot, Blackboard integration with iClicker at NDSU was not functional. The iClicker vendor provided troubleshooting assistance immediately, but the problem was not resolved until mid-November. As a result, iClicker users had to use alternative solutions for registering clickers and uploading points to Blackboard for student viewing. Turning Technologies was functional and fully integrated with Blackboard throughout the pilot.

During the span of the pilot additional minor issues were discovered with both systems. A faulty iClicker receiver slightly delayed the effective start date of clicker use in one course.  The vendor responded by sending a new receiver, however it was an incorrect model. Instructional Services temporarily exchanged receivers with another member of the pilot group until a functional replacement arrived. Similarly, a Turning Technologies receiver was received with outdated firmware. Turning Technologies support staff identified the problem and assisted in updating the firmware with an update tool located on their website. A faculty participant discovered a software flaw in the iClicker software that hides the software toolbar when disconnecting a laptop from a second monitor. iClicker technical support assisted in identifying the problem and stated the problem would be addressed in a future software update. A workaround was identified that mitigated this problem for the remainder of the pilot. It is important to note that these issues were not widespread and did not widely affect all pilot users, however these issues attest to the need for timely, reliable, and effective vendor support.

Students and faculty reported positive experiences with both technologies throughout the semester. Based on feedback, users of both systems found the new technologies to be much improved over the previous PRS system, indicating that adopting either technology would be perceived as an upgrade among students and faculty. Faculty pilot testers met several times during the semester to discuss their experiences with each system; feedback was sent to each vendor for their comments, suggestions, and solutions.

During the stage three demonstrations, feedback from attendees focused on the inability for iClicker to integrate with Blackboard at that time and the substantial differences between the two systems in terms of entering numeric values (i.e., Turning Technologies has numeric buttons, while iClicker requires the use of a directional key pad to scroll through numeric characters). Feedback indicated that attendees perceived Turning Technologies’ clickers to be much more efficient for submitting numeric responses. Feedback regarding other functionalities indicated relative equality between both systems.

Recommendation

Based on the findings of this pilot, Instructional Services recommends that NDSU IT adopt Turning Technologies as the replacement for the existing PRS system. While both pilot-tested systems are viable solutions, Turning Technologies appears to meet the needs of a larger user base. Additionally, the support offered by Turning Technologies was more timely and effective throughout the pilot. With the limited resources of IT, vendor support is critical and was a major reason for exploring alternative student response technologies.

From Instructional Services’ standpoint, standardizing to one solution is imperative for two major reasons: cost efficiency for students (i.e., preventing students from having to purchase duplicate technologies) and efficient utilization of IT resources (i.e., support and training). It is important to note that this recommendation is based on the opinion of the Instructional Services staff and the majority of pilot testers, but is not based on consensus among all participating faculty and staff. It is possible that individual faculty members may elect to use other options that best meet their individual teaching needs, including (but not limited to) iClicker. As an IT organization, we continue to support technology that serves faculty, student and staff needs across various colleges, disciplines, and courses. We feel that this pilot was effective in determining the student response technology—Turning Technologies—that will best serve NDSU faculty, students and staff for the foreseeable future.

Once a final decision concerning standardization is made, contract negotiations should begin in earnest with the goal of completion by January 1, 2012, in order to accommodate those wishing to use clickers during the spring session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Appendix A: Clicker Comparisons
Turning Technologies and iClicker

 

Areas where both products have comparable functionality:

  • Setting up the receiver and software
  • Student registration of clickers
  • Software interface floats above other software
    • Can use with anything – PowerPoint, Websites, Word, etc.
    • Asking questions on the fly
    • Can create questions / answers files
    • Managing scores and data
      • Allow participation points, points for correct answer, change correct answer
      • Reporting – Summary and Detailed
      • Uploading scores and data to Blackboard (but there was a big delay with the iClicker product)
      • Durability of the receivers and clickers
      • Free software
      • Offer mobile web device product to go “clickerless”

Areas where the products differ:

Main Shortcomings of Turning Technology Product:

  • Costs $5 more – no workaround
  • Doesn’t have instructor readout window on receiver base –
    • This is a handy function in iClicker that lets the instructor see the %’s of votes as they come in, allowing the instructor to plan how he/she will proceed.
    • Workaround: As the time winds down to answer the question, the question and answers are displayed on the screen. Intermittently, the instructor would push a button to mute the projector, push a button to view graph results quickly, then push a button to hide graph and push a button to unmute the projector. In summary, push four buttons quickly each time you want to see the feedback, and the students will see a black screen momentarily.
    • Processing multiple sessions when uploading grading –
      • Turning Technologies uses their own file structure types, but iClicker uses comma-separated-value text files which work easily with Excel
      • Workaround: When uploading grades into Blackboard, upload them one session at a time, and use a calculated total column in Bb to combine them. Ideally, instructors would upload the grades daily or weekly to avoid backlog of sessions.

 

Main Shortcomings of iClicker Product:

  • Entering numeric answers –
    • Questions that use numeric answers are widely used in Math and the sciences. Instead of choosing a multiple-choice answer, students solve the problem and enter the actual numeric answer, which can include numbers and symbols.
    • Workaround: Students push mode button and use directional pad to scroll up and down through a list of numbers, letters and symbols to choose each character individually from left to right. Then they must submit the answer.
    • Number of multiple choice answers –
      • iClicker has 5 buttons on the transmitter for direct answer choices and Turning Technologies has 10.
      • Workaround: Similar to numeric answer workaround. Once again the simpler transmitter becomes complex for the students.
      • Potential Vendor Support Problems –
        • It took iClicker over 3 months to get their grade upload interface working with NDSU’s Blackboard system. The Turning Technology interface worked right away.  No workaround.

 

 

 

 

Classroom Response System CRS or clickers: questions to vendors

Good evening,

We are pleased to inform you that your classroom response system is chosen as final candidate for campus-wide adoption/support at St. Cloud State University. Should you be interested in pursuing this opportunity, we invite you to respond to the attached list of questions and to prepare a brief presentation for members of the selection committee and interested faculty/staff.

The deadline for responding to the questions is 12:00 pm (CST), Tuesday, April 9. This deadline will allow us to review the responses in time for the vendor presentations on Thursday, April 11, 11AM-1PM. The presentations will be held virtually via Adobe Connect: http://media4.stcloudstate.edu/scsu. Please let us know, if you need to test and familiarize yourself with the presentation platform.

The presentation should be no more than 10 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes for follow-up questions. We suggest that you focus on the highlights of your system, presuming a moderately knowledgeable audience. We may follow up via email or telephone call prior to making our final selection.

Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Classroom Response System Taskforce:
Dr. Anthony Hansen
Dr. Michael Rentz
Dr. Joseph Melcher
Dr. Andrew Anda
Dr. Tracy Ore
Dr. Jack McKenna
Dr. Plamen Miltenoff

 

Questions to vendor
1. Is your system proprietary as far as the handheld device and the operating system software?
2. Describe the scalability of your system, from small classes (20-30) to large auditorium classes. (500+).
3. Is your system receiver/transmitter based, wi-fi based, or other?
4. What is the usual process for students to register a “CRS”(or other device) for a course? List all of the possible ways a student could register their device. Could a campus offer this service rather than through your system? If so, how?
5. Once a “CRS” is purchased  can it be used for as long as the student is enrolled in classes? Could “CRS” purchases be made available through the campus bookstore? Once a student purchases a “clicker” are they able to transfer ownership when finished with it?
6. Will your operating software integrate with other standard database formats? If so, list which ones.
7. Describe the support levels you provide. If you offer maintenance agreements, describe what is covered.
8. What is your company’s history in providing this type of technology? Provide a list of higher education clients.
9. What measures does your company take to insure student data privacy? Is your system in compliance with FERPA and the Minnesota Data Practices Act? (https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=13&view=chapter)
10. What personal data does your company collect on students and for what purpose? Is it shared or sold to others? How is it protected?
11. Do any of your business partners collect personal information about students that use your technology?
12. With what formats can test/quiz questions be imported/exported?
13. List compatible operating systems (e.g., Windows, Macintosh, Palm, Android)?
14. What are the total costs to students including device costs and periodic or one-time operation costs
15. Describe your costs to the institution.
16. Describe how your software integrates with PowerPoint or other presentation systems.
17. State your level of integration with Desire2Learn (D2L)?

Does the integration require a server or other additional equipment the campus must purchase?

18. How does your company address disability accommodation for your product?
19. Does your software limit the number of answers per question in tests or quizzes? If so, what is the max question limit?
20. Does your software provide for integrating multimedia files? If so, list the file format types supported.
21. What has been your historic schedule for software releases and what pricing mechanism do you make available to your clients for upgrading?
22. Describe your “CRS”(s).
23. If applicable, what is the average life span of a battery in your device and what battery type does it take?
24. Does your system automatically save upon shutdown?
25. What is your company’s projection/vision for this technology in the near and far term.
26. Does any of your software/apps require administrator permission to install?
27. If your system is radio frequency based, what frequency spectrum does it operate in? If the system operate in the 2.4-2.5 ghz. spectrum, have you tested to insure that smart phones, wireless tablet’s and laptops and 2.4 ghz. wireless phones do not affect your system? If so, what are the results of those tests?
28. What impact to the wireless network does the solution have?
29. Can the audience response system be used spontaneously for polling?
30. Can quiz questions and response distributions be imported and exported from and to plaintext or a portable format? (motivated by assessment & accreditation requirements).
31. Is there a requirement that a portion of the course grade be based on the audience response system?

 

 

 

—————-

Plamen Miltenoff, Ph.D., MLIS

Professor

204-J James W. Miller Center

Learning Resources and Technology Services

720 Fourth Avenue South

St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

320-308-3072

pmiltenoff@stcloudstate.edu

http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/faculty/

“I am not strange, I am just not normal.” Salvador Dali

 

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