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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Student Evaluations of Teaching: Perceptions of Faculty Knowledge and Their Relation to Learning
by Gruendler, Donald L., Jr., Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2018, 155; 10928162
Abstract (Summary)

The majority of student evaluations of teaching (SET) related studies repeatedly consider matters related to the creation and validity of an assessment tool, as well as the validity, and reliability of SET scores. Not only to determine the usefulness of teaching; but also, the possible sources of student biases related thereto as well (Hofman & Kremer, 1980; Abrami & Mizener, 1983; Tollefson et al., 1989). However, limited research studies have considered SET and their relation to student learning outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify what relationships, if any, exists between the grade undergraduate college students' predict to earn in a course and their actual earned grade, controlling for students' perceptions of faculty knowledge and their affect toward faculty. Also, this study also examined what relationship, if any, exists between undergraduate college students' earned grade and the overall evaluation they provide their instructor on an end of course SET.

The population for this study consisted of 344 undergraduate college students enrolled during the spring 2018 quarter at a small private college of music, located in Hollywood, California. Students’ predicted grade was collected via a document that contained a detailed outline of the course grade percentage standards alongside a single question survey: "What Grade do you expect to earn in this course?” Students' perceptions of faculty knowledge was measured via 15 questions, covering an instructor’s subject matter knowledge (e.g., "My instructor understands the topics at a high-level ") and inquiries from the knowledge of students' understanding header (e.g., "My instructor is familiar with my prior knowledge in this subject area"). Measuring for students' affect toward faculty was accomplished through the administering of an eight-item survey assessing respondents' affect toward the instructor, which included items such as the value of instruction and the like. Extant data regarding students actual earned grade, and overall SET evaluation was collected on the last day of classes, the college’s Office of the Registrar.

A detailed investigation of the Wald statistic of the individual relationships revealed that none of the various grades students' predicted to earn in a given had a significant impact on the prediction of the different students' actual earned grade in a given course after controlling the effect of students’ perception of faculty knowledge and affect toward faculty. However, the undergraduate college students' actual grade earned was significantly related to students' perceptions of faculty knowledge (F(4, 339) = 2.86, p = 0.02), and their affect toward instructor (F(4, 339) = 77.27, p < 0.001). The findings mentioned above are further reinforced by the Post-Hoc test findings too. Specifically, that undergraduate students’ who earn a higher-level grade concurrently rate their faculty member as having high knowledge, versus those students who earn a low final course grade. Also, undergraduate college students who earn higher-level grades also have a higher rating of affect toward instructor than those undergraduate college students who concluded their studies with a lower grade earned.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Leigh, Doug
Commitee: Harvey, Andrew, Spinello, Elio
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Assement, Evaluations, Learning, Set, Student, Teaching
Publication Number: 10928162
ISBN: 978-0-438-57843-2
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