Opportunity Out Of Scrutiny: Student Evaluations of Teaching
Level 1 Theatre, The Spot
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Opportunity Out Of Scrutiny: Student Evaluations of Teaching, Evidence-Based Learning, and A Model For Improving (The Evaluation Of) Teaching Business.
There currently exists a complex and troubled space where general education and business education research ranging from economics to finance, along with advances in the science of learning, converge with student experience and expectations.
In sharing findings from my own, and others, research on Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs), we will examine how the increased scrutiny on SET's themselves - their over-reliance and misuse as a form of evaluating teaching - has provided the opportunity to re-think evaluating teaching with an important lens towards improved business pedagogy. Why would a heavily quantitative accounting course consistently score lower on average than a more qualitative business communications course? Why are business electives consistently rated higher than required gateway courses? Is this fair and representative of where effective teaching is occurring?
Teaching and the choice of pedagogies is about goals. How much of those goals are colored by the very real necessity for faculty to meet the expectation of business students for what should be a learning experience that will garner high SET scores? How might this obscure the fundamental and driving question for pedagogy: When and how do we add the most value to promote student learning? The growing area of tension between advancing the practice of teaching and learning in a business school, and student expectations for a learning experience, creates a challenging context for SETs and their administration.
The over-reliance on SETs as a measure of evaluation serves too often to directly inhibit improved teaching practice and instead implicitly reinforces pedagogical models that favor a learned approach to “doing school,” versus a learned approach to learning. Ultimately, a systematic and consistent move towards the use of a teaching dossier across tenure and promotion processes can not only address the many concerns about SET's specifically, but also encourage improvement, innovation, and applied differentiation in the teaching of business content areas.
Presenter: Dr Richard Freishtat serves as Director of Berkeley's Center for Teaching and Learning, where he partners with faculty to inspire, enrich, and innovate Berkeley’s collective practice and pursuit of teaching excellence.