Instructor and Student Evaluations

10 May 2008

Instructor Evaluation by Student

MS 150 Statistics

Back in Fall 2001 I had the opportunity to analyze my Instructor Evaluation by Student results. I have not had access to the raw data since that time, making a re-analysis difficult. Spring 2008, having never seen my evaluations from the fall of 2007, I decided to go ahead and run an evaluation and tally the data so as to run a comparison.

The questions are included in the table below.

01.Keeps regular schedule every class day 12345
02.Shows interest in the subject 12345
03.Gives individual help as needed 12345
04.Available for student conference 12345
05.Welcomes questions, suggestions, and discussions from students 12345
06.Shows interest and respect for students 12345
07.Helps the students in meeting individual learning needs 12345
08.Uses classroom/lab time fully 12345
09.Provides clear directions for assignment and instruction 12345
10.Grades fairly and frequently 12345
11.Makes the purpose of the course clear 12345
12.Talks clearly and at an easy to follow pace 12345
13.Lessons are well paced with activity as well as lecture 12345
14.Makes the course interesting 12345
15.Textbook was appropriate and helpful 12345

Averages were calculated for each question based on the above numbers. The following table rearranges the questions into descending rank order for spring 2008.

MS 150 Statistics
nQuestionFall 2001Spring 2008Diff
01Regular schedule4.54.90.40
13Lessons well paced with activity4.74.840.14
02Shows interest in subject4.44.810.41
10Grades fairly and frequently54.81-0.19
08Uses classroom lab time fully4.84.77-0.03
14Makes the course interesting4.74.770.07
05Welcomes questions suggestions54.77-0.23
11Makes the purpose of the course clear54.74-0.26
15Textbook appropriate4.24.710.51
09Provides clear directions for assignments4.64.650.05
06Shows interest and respect4.74.53-0.17
07Helps students meet learning needs4.84.52-0.28
12Talks clearly at easy to follow pace4.54.520.02
04Avails for student conference4.74.47-0.23
03Gives help54.42-0.58


To summarize the statistics student evaluations for spring 2008, I keep a reqular schedule, have a course well paced with activities, show interest in the subject, and I grade fairly and frequently. I need to improve on giving help, providing individual attention, meeting the student's individual learning needs, and my availability for individual student conferences. Of concern to me is that my perceived helpfulness on an individual basis has fallen since 2001.

A statistical test of the 2001 versus the 2008 data shows no statistically significant difference in my overall average between the two years. Overall my gains in some areas are offset by losses in others.

The division-wide average in 2001 was 4.51. Both my 2001 and 2008 averages of 4.71 and 4.68 respectively are above the 2001 division-wide average. I have no other data against which to compare my performance.

Student comments often provide insight into the student's answers. The comments are provided below.

SC 130 Physical Science

In SC 130 Physical Science the results were similar to MS 150 Statistics.

SC 130 Physical Science
nQuestionSpring 2008
02Shows interest in subject4.96
05Welcomes questions suggestions4.92
14Makes the course interesting4.89
09Provides clear directions for assignments4.89
13Lessons well paced with activity4.89
11Makes the purpose of the course clear4.89
01Regular schedule4.89
10Grades fairly and frequently4.86
06Shows interest and respect4.86
12Talks clearly at easy to follow pace4.79
07Helps students meet learning needs4.79
03Gives help4.75
04Avails for student conference4.68
08Uses classroom lab time fully4.54
15Textbook appropriate3.96


Two items shifted position in the rank order, use of classroom and lab time fully and the appropriateness of the textbook. The later item fell to the lowest average for all items across both courses. Against results in 2001, a 3.96 is lower than all but one textbook in use in the division at that time. Note that one of the 3.9 values in the 2001 table was for the IS 201 Introduction to Computer Informations Systems course text book. I happened to be teaching that course that particular term.

Overall, as an instructor, students rated me higher in SC 130 Physical Science than in MS 150 Statistics. A 4.77 average would have placed me in first position in the rank order back in 2001.

Student comments often provide insight into the student's answers. The comments are provided below.

Although the sample size was smaller for physical science (n = 28), there were more written comments than were received for statistics class. There is a suggestion that the writing core to the course spilled over into the student's willingess to add written comments.

Student Self-Evaluation

The Student Self-Evaluation form was given in both MS 150 Statistics and SC 130 Physical Science. This survey was run by the college in conjunction with the instructor survey back in the 1990s.1

1.I come to class on time12345
2.I am prepared each day12345
3.I turned in my homework on time12345
4.I spoke up when called upon12345
5.I asked questions in class12345
6.I met with my instructor during office hours12345
7.I paid attention in class12345
8.I asked for clarification when needed12345
9.I took the course seriously12345
10.I tried my best12345
11.My grade should be:ABCDF

The results for MS 150 Statistics and SC 130 Physical Science are reported below. The order is in descending order of the average for the two courses. This value is not displayed in the table below and was used only to derive a common order for both courses.

Student Self-Evaluation
nQuestionMS 150SC 130
10I tried my best4.434.50
9I took the course seriously4.214.35
7I paid attention in class4.104.35
1I come to class on time3.814.38
8I asked for clarification when needed3.324.35
4I spoke up when called upon3.634.00
2I am prepared each day3.743.77
3I turned in my homework on time3.423.96
5I asked questions in class2.473.38
6I met with my instructor during office hours2.133.15
11My grade should be:2.743.21


Students in both courses self-report that they tried their best, took the course seriously, paid attention in class, and came to class on time. Physical science students may have been more likely to ask for clarification and to have spoken up when called upon. Students self-report asking questions only rarely or sometimes.

Students also report not meeting with their instructor during office hours. This suggests that the lack of individual attention and help reported in the instructor survey by student is in part connected to students not coming to the office for assistance.

The statistics student's would collectively award themselves a 2.74 grade point average. The actual average for the course is 2.24. The student's meta-cognitive knowledge of their performance in the course is not as unaligned with reality as I had surmised it would be.

In physical science the student's self-estimated their GPA would be 3.21, the actual GPA for those who were surveyed was 2.75. This also a difference of half a grade point. Although individual grade estimates may or may not have been accurate, collectively the students only over-estimated their own grade by half a grade. This suggests that the course did a good job of helping the students know how they were performing. Bear in mind the question was "My grade should be" not "My grade is," the later would be a better measure of their meta-cognitive knowledge of their performance.

Student comments from both courses.

Affective domain survey in physical science

In conjunction with the above surveys, an affective domain survey was run in physical science and is available on line.

1The lack of the widespread deployment and use of research technologies like optical mark readers has forced the college curtail many of these surveys as hand-marking is impossible on the scale of the college. Research at the college using surveys has decreased over the past decade due in part to a lack of technological support for surveys out into the academic divisions. The college has made little effort to empower faculty as researchers in their own classrooms, while at the same time extolling the same faculty to engage in assessment activities. That a single scanner is kept in the administration building is of little use to faculty who typically work weekends and after hours on their course materials.