Using Student Evaluations to Improve Teaching

Student evaluations can be used to improve teaching, and here’s an excellent resource to inform those efforts. Author Guy Boysen writes, “The purpose of this teacher-ready review is to provide a comprehensive, empirically-based guide for the use of student evaluations to improve teaching” (p. 273). His premise is that if teachers are going to base improvement decisions on evaluation data, then they need to be using “scientifically justifiable practices” (p. 27). Specifically, they need to a) use reliable and valid forms, b) have an adequate sample of students, c) analyze the responses systematically, and d) make the results part of an ongoing professional development effort.

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