Navigating the (sometimes) rocky shores
of teaching and consulting
CONSTRUCTING A USEFUL STUDENT EVALUATION INSTRUMENT
1. Use a pool of items appropriate to the course and to your teaching style.
2. Use a 5- to 7-point scale.
3. Be sure that each item addresses only one aspect of your teaching or of the course.
4. Allow space for narrative comments.
5. Design survey questions that address Chickering’s “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.” Good practice
• Encourages contact between students and faculty
• Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students
• Encourages active learning
• Gives prompt feedback
• Emphasizes time on task
• Communicates high expectations
• Respects diverse talents and ways of learning
6. Include survey items that address traditional characteristics of effective teaching:
• Communication skills—ability to clearly explain difficult or abstract ideas, theories, processes, etc.
• Favorable attitude toward students
• Knowledge of subject matter
• Good organization of subject matter and course
• Enthusiasm toward subject
• Fairness in examinations and grading
• Encouragement of students to think for themselves
• Good fit between course goals and objectives and the instructor’s teaching strategies, assigned work, and use of class time
One of the best-known student rating systems, developed at Kansas State University, is IDEAS (Instructional Development and Effectiveness Assessment System).