Evaluation

As we approach the end of the term, students will be asked to provide feedback to instructors using U-M's course evaluation system. At CRLT, we often hear from faculty and GSIs who are discouraged about a number of issues related to student ratings, including the tone of some written comments, relatively low response rates, and uncertainty about how best to use the results productively. This post provides some resources for each of these concerns.

Student Ratings Questionnaire Example

1) Minimizing Unhelpful Comments: Student ratings comments can be unhelpful when vague or irrelevant, whether positive ("Great course!") or negative (e.g., criticism of instructor attributes not linked to the learning environment). To encourage students to avoid rude or personally hurtful comments, CRLT worked with ADVANCE at U-M on a handout that instructors can give to students before they fill out their evaluations. The handout, Course Evaluations: Providing Helpful Feedback to Your Instructors, asks students to keep three key issues in mind when completing their ratings: Read more »

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Browse resources related to student evaluations of teaching

Consultation services are available to faculty, post-docs and graduate students affiliated with the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor campus.

Request a consultation to discuss student evaluations

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CRLT staff assist faculty applying for grants in areas of curricular and pedagogical innovation by providing expertise in planning and implementing the evaluation of grants.  CRLT evaluation services include

  • consultation on pre-proposal evaluation design;
  • assistance in planning and implementing data collection and analysis for formative and summative evaluation purposes; and
  • support for communicating evaluation findings and using evaluation information for decisions about improvements.
For more information contact Malinda Matney, Director of Assessment at CRLT by calling 936-1135 or sending an email to mmatney@umich.edu.
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"For assessment to be successful, it is necessary to put aside the question, 'What’s the best possible knowledge?' and instead to ask, 'Do we have good enough knowledge to try something different that might benefit our students?'"

-Blaich, C. F., & Wise, K. S. (2011). From gathering to using assessment results: Lessons from the Wabash National Study (NILOA Occasional Paper No.8). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.


Key Definitions & Frameworks

Data sources that are useful to consider in assessing student learning are:

  1. Evidence of learning outcomes

    Direct measures of learning

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Key Definitions & Frameworks

Curriculum

The curriculum is an “academic plan,” which should include: the purpose of the curriculum (i.e., goals for student learning), content, sequence (the order of the learning experience), instructional methods, instructional resources, evaluation approaches, and how adjustments to the plan will be made based on experience or assessment data.
(Lattuca, L. & Stark, J. (2009) Shaping the college curriculum: Academic plans in context. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.)
  • The intended curriculum is the documented, official plan -- or what faculty hope students will learn.
  • The achieved curriculum includes knowledge, skills and attitudes that are truly learned and remembered.
    (Cuban, L. (1992). Curriculum stability and change. In Jackson, Philip (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Curriculum. American Educational Research Association)

Assessment can be helpful in better understanding alignment between an intended and achieved curriculum.

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