Factors Affecting University Student Ratings of Faculty Teaching Performance / Abdallah H. Z. Kaylani
The purpose of this study was to identify factors affecting university student ratings of faculty teaching performance. This purpose also included investigating sources of error and bias in students’ ratings, ascertaining evidence of their validity and reliability, and how to enhance their usefulness in improving instruction. The methodology utilized two sources of information. The first consisted of findings from a number of reviewed studies compiled around the major research questions. The second source was the opinions of 642 faculty members in eight Jordanian public universities, who responded to a questionnaire consisting of 13 items related to certain aspects of student evaluation of faculty. The findings from reviewed studies identified a number of contextual variables related to the course, the instructor, the student, and the evaluation tool. Other factors identified in other studies included: dimensionality of student ratings, differences between instructors and students about criteria of teaching efficiency, and the lack of sufficient evidence on the validity and reliability of students’ ratings. Still other findings yielded factors related to the effect of class size, course level, and student absenteeism. The results of factor analysis of faculty opinion responses revealed three significant factors that had factor loadings in items related to a number of variables affecting student ratings, the need to reconsider more comprehensive ways of evaluating teaching performance, and the extent to which student ratings could be considered accurate and objective. Based on findings identified in this study, a number of ways were recognized to enhance the usefulness of student ratings in improving instructional performance.
Key words: bias factors, evidence of validity, criteria of teaching efficiency, factor structure, unidimentionality.