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Get the Most Out of Student Feedback

Resources for faculty regarding student feedback

These articles provide a quick overview of the different debates that surround student evaluations of teaching. For more information about the effect of educator's identities in teaching and learning, see the Teacher Identity page of the CTL's Inclusive Teaching LibGuide.

The Debate Over SETs

The article, "Do Student Evaluations of Teaching Really Get an "F?"", originally published on the Blog of Rice University's Center for Teaching Excellence, puts into perspective the debate over the value of student evaluations of teaching. It includes an overview of the research literature on this subject as well as an examination of the press coverage that this practice has received in higher education news as well as national media outlets, like NPR.

Link to "Do Student Evaluations of Teaching Really Get an "F"?" - Rice University CTE

More on this Debate:

This article by Stark & Freishtat (2014) started the most recent large-scale debate about the nature and use of student evaluations:

An Evaluation of Course Evaluations: Citation | Download (PDF, 222 KB)

Prompting various responses, including a two-part report from IDEA (Benton, 2014):

An Evaluation of “An Evaluation of Course Evaluations”  (editorial response no longer available)

In a nutshell, student evaluations of teaching must be designed deliberately to provide meaningful feedback to faculty and to include students' voices in the learning process, but they must also be interpreted patiently by educators and fairly by institutions. Either way, they cannot be ignored, as the article above indicates.

IDEA Webinar - Myths & Misconceptions of Student Ratings: Gender Bias & More

Why Good Student Course Evaluations Are So Hard to Find by Matt Reed, October 27, 2015 

Link to "Why Good Student Course Evaluation are so Hard to Find" - Inside Higher Ed Blog

Everyone Complains About Evaluations. A Nobel Laureate Offers an Alternative by Meg Bernhard, June 15, 2015

Link to "Everyone Complains about Student Evaluations A Nobel Laureate Offers an Alternative" - Chronicle of Higher Education

Reevaluating Teaching Evaluations

S. D'Agostink & J. Kosegarten. (2015). Reevaluating Teaching Evaluations. Liberal Education, 101(3), 58–63.

Link to "Reevaluating Teaching Evaluations" - AAC&U

Gendered Language in Teacher Reviews graph, no longer updated as of March 2021

Link to the "Gendered Language in Teacher Reviews" page by Ben Schmidt