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First impressions and professor reputation: Influence on student evaluations of instruction

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Abstract

We examined the effects of professor reputation versus first impressions on student evaluations of instruction. Students in 19 Psychology courses completed course evaluation surveys either before meeting the instructor or 2weeks into the semester. Both groups then completed the course evaluation again at the end of the semester. Unlike evaluations completed prior to meeting the professor, students’ ratings 2weeks into the semester did not differ from end-of-semester evaluations. Therefore, students considered first impressions more important than professor reputation as determinants of their end-of-the semester evaluations. Results suggest that students form lasting impressions within the first 2weeks of classes.

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... Thin slices detail obtaining ratings of 6-9 s of taped and muted teaching behavior correlate significantly with end-of-term teaching evaluations. Buchert et al. (2008) also found that teaching evaluations assessed after only 2 weeks of class predicted end-of-term teaching evaluations. Moreover, these "first impressions" were stronger predictors of performance than evaluations that were guided solely on students' knowledge of the instructor based only on their reputation (e.g., from other students or other sources of information about instructors, such as "ratemyprofessor.com"). ...
... Our research examines a "thinner slice" than did Clayson and Sheffet (2006) and Buchert et al. (2008). We examined whether students have pre-existing bias for or against female professors based only on the picture of the professor without any sample of behavior. ...
... Among psychology students, familiarity increased sex bias against female faculty, whereas among law students familiarity decreased sex bias. These biases were detected on ratings of mere photographs of the targeted faculty members, and research on "thin slices" demonstrates that initial impressions strongly predict end-of-term teaching evaluations (Ambady and Rosenthal 1993;Babad et al. 2004;Buchert et al. 2008;Clayson and Sheffet 2006). Thus, bias in initial impressions is not without consequence. ...
Article
To address the stranger-to-stranger critique of stereotyping research, psychology students $(n= 139)$ and law students $(n = 58)$ rated photographs of familiar or unfamiliar male or female professors on competence. Results from Study 1 indicated that familiar male psychology faculty were rated as more competent than were familiar female faculty, whereas unfamiliar female faculty were rated as more competent than unfamiliar male faculty. By contrast, in Study 2, familiarity had a stronger positive effect on competence ratings of female faculty than it did for male faculty. Among psychology students, familiarity increased sex bias against female faculty, whereas among law students familiarity decreased sex bias. Together, these studies call into question the stranger-to-stranger critique of stereotyping research. Our findings have direct implications for the context of student evaluations. In male-dominated disciplines it is important for students to be exposed to female instructors in order to reduce pre-existing biases against such instructors.
... This is especially poignant for online classes given that as a best practice, scholars suggest that instructors should provide students with a video recording of their self-introduction for the first class day (Clark, Merrick, Styron, & Dolowitz, 2021). Thus, considering the importance of the first day of class on students' impressions of their instructor (Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008), we believe our study is an important step in gathering a more complete understanding of how FOA requests from instructors during the first day of class may impact these student perceptions and future interactions between teachers and students. ...
... Consequently, instructors, and female instructors, in particular, seem to be faced with a conundrum about whether they want to be perceived as more assertive or more caring. This is a difficult choice given that perceptions of instructor assertiveness and caring are all associated with positive outcomes in the classroom (Aylor & Oppliger, 2003;Finn et al., 2009;Martin et al., 1997;Myers et al., 2002;Wanzer & McCroskey, 1998) and that first impressions from the initial class session play such an important role in students' end-of-the-semester evaluations (Buchert et al., 2008). ...
Article
Guided by predicted outcome value (POV) theory, we explore how instructors’ forms of address (FOA) during the first class day impact students’ POV judgments and their perceptions of instructors’ credibility and socio-communicative orientation. College students (N = 416) were randomly assigned to view one of six stimulus videos varying by FOA (e.g., “Doctor,” “Professor,” first name) and instructor biologic sex (e.g., male-presenting, female-presenting) before completing dependent measures. Results suggest female-presenting instructors are perceived to be less caring, albeit more assertive when referred to by “Doctor” or “Professor” compared to male-presenting instructors referred to by the same FOAs. Female-presenting instructors are also perceived to be more caring, yet less assertive when referred to by first name only in comparison to the male-presenting instructor referred to by the same FOA. The current study highlights the gendered expectations students have of instructors and the implications of instructor FOA during the first class day.
... Some have argued that first impressions can extend beyond the first day, into the first week or two (Kunz, 2014). However, an abundance of literature has advocated the position that the first day and first impressions formed on that day are of grave importance (e.g., Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993;Anderson, Mcguire, &Cory, 2011;Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008;McKeachie & Svinicki, 2006). In fact, people form impressions of instructors' personalities in as little time as six seconds (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993). ...
... In fact, people form impressions of instructors' personalities in as little time as six seconds (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993). Further, one study found that first impressions supersede pre-existing instructor reputation on student evaluations (Buchert et al., 2008).Thus, regardless of what others have heard about a professor from peers, social media, or web pages designed to rate professors, it appears that the impressions students form of their instructors outweigh preconceived ideas of the instructor. ...
Article
First-day teaching activities may be used to set positive first impressions, engage students, and increase motivation. The current studies evaluated the effectiveness of first-day teaching demonstrations compared to first day syllabus reviews on impressions of instructors, student self perceptions, and motivation. The findings revealed that a specific first day teaching activity promotes positive impressions of instructors, increases student self-perceptions, and student motivation based on the activity used. Additionally, the student impressions are moderated by gender of the instructor. Autonomy support, student self-perceptions, and impressions of the instructor were rated higher for the male instructor and the female instructor was rated higher on relatedness when implementing a first-day activity. Implications and limitations for using a first-day teaching activity are discussed.
... Research conducted on student evaluations typically examines characteristics of a successful professor, such as their reputation or personal characteristics. Previous research indicates that first impressions can be more important in evaluations than a professor's reputation (Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008). A crucial part in evaluating professors is rating the type of characteristics they display. ...
... Typically a student's rating of an instructor as warm means being perceived as more supportive and interested in others. Warmth also increases the likelihood of engagement in class discussions from students (Buchert et al., 2008;Kelley, 1950). Warm individuals are well liked because warmth carries more weight in affective and behavioral reactions, and warm individuals are better remembered (Fiske et al., 2006). ...
Article
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Subjective rating sites, such as ratemyprofessors.com, depend on descriptive characteristics, stereotype expectations, and grade expectations. Here, we used the stereotype content model and grading leniency hypothesis to examine student decisions to enroll in a class. In Study 1, participants judged a male or female professor described as cold or warm. In Study 2, participants judged a male or female professor whose course was described as difficult or easy. Supporting the leniency hypothesis student ratings of professors were highly influenced by course difficulty. Students were more likely to enroll in easy courses.
... Initial perceptions of instructors are often generated quickly, and accurately (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1992), based on previous experiences, stereotypes, categorization, and reputations (Zarate & Smith, 1990;Quinn & Macrae, 2005;Buchert et al., 2008;Harnish & Bridges, 2011). Students use a wide array of cues to form these impressions of their instructors, for instance, professional title, gender, age, and personality. ...
... In one study, student perceptions of FMs and GTAs evolved over a semester, with GTAs gaining in positive instructional behaviors such as understanding, confidence, respect, and engagement, while FMs became more uncertain and boring (Kendall & Schussler, 2013a). A study by Buchert et al. (2008) suggests that these shifts occur quickly, with pre-semester expectations changing to final semester perceptions as early as two weeks into the semester. A study by Griffin (2001), however, found that presemester reputation impacts end-of-term evaluations of an instructor (e.g., a positive reputation resulted in higher instructor and course ratings than having a negative reputation), meaning that these initial expectations influenced subsequent perceptions. ...
Article
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This study investigated undergraduate pre-semester instructional expectations of two types of introductory biology course instructors based on four titles (faculty member [FM], graduate teaching assistant [GTA], lecture instructor, laboratory instructor). Data were collected via an online survey administered before students had met their instructors. All students enrolled in first-semester non-majors and majors introductory biology were invited to participate, and 199 students completed the survey. Results identified different instructional expectations for instructors based on the four titles. Significantly, students anticipated differences between FMs and lecture instructors, and GTAs and lab instructors, despite these being the same individual. These results suggest that instructors can enhance student instructional expectations and associated perceptions of learning through the use of particular titles.
... The fi rst impressions an instructor makes in a course are important (Dorn 1987 ). In fact, impressions made within the fi rst 2 weeks of the class are more important in determining end-of-course student ratings than is the instructor's general reputation (Buchert et al. 2008 ). Specifi cally, in separate studies, Buchert et al. ( 2008 ) compared end-of-course student ratings with ratings taken the second week of class (Study 1) and the fi rst day of class (Study 2). ...
... In fact, impressions made within the fi rst 2 weeks of the class are more important in determining end-of-course student ratings than is the instructor's general reputation (Buchert et al. 2008 ). Specifi cally, in separate studies, Buchert et al. ( 2008 ) compared end-of-course student ratings with ratings taken the second week of class (Study 1) and the fi rst day of class (Study 2). In the fi rst study, no signifi cant differences were found between ratings collected during the second week of class and at the end of the course on items concerning the instructor's interest in the course, communication of the importance of the subject matter, expectations for student achievement and behavior, and grading criteria. ...
Chapter
Findings from research on student ratings are summarized from the 1970s to 2013. There were 1,874 references, including 564 since 1994, using the ERIC descriptors “student evaluation of teacher performance” and “higher education.” The authors address the validity of self-report data, misconceptions about student ratings, essentials of credible research, and elements of reliability and validity. Evidence of reliability includes consistency, stability, and generalizability of ratings. Validity evidence consists of relations to other variables, including achievement; instructor self-ratings; ratings by administrators, colleagues, alumni, and trained observers; and student-written comments as well as survey multidimensionality. Possible sources of bias are extraneous student, instructor, and course characteristics either unrelated or related to ratings. Few meaningful differences occur between ratings administered online versus on paper and ratings in online versus face-to-face courses. Recommendations are made for the appropriate use of student ratings and for future research.
... The first encounter or initial contact is a primary factor impacting the development of the student-instructor's relationship (Reis, Sprecher, & Sprecher, 2009). Previous studies suggest that durable initial impressions may be shaped based on brief exposure to the teacher, even in the first seconds of an initial encounter (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993; Babad, Avani-Babad, & Rosenthal, 2004; Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008). These early impressions can then create the anticipation and state of future interactions (Horan, Houser, Goodboy, & Frymier, 2011). ...
... The initial information that is collected can be comparatively applied to other instructors and expectations derived from student experiences with them. This result parallels the findings of previous studies reporting initial impressions about the instructor can be shaped based on brief exposure during the first encounter (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993; Babad et al., 2004; Buchert et al., 2008). The lack of equality between idealistic expectations and real experiences of students could lead to a reality shock that Kramer (1974) discusses which is rooted in the differences 19 between students' expectations with what occurs in real situation. ...
Article
The first encounter between an instructor and his/her student influences the development of their mutual relationship. This phenomenon has received little attention in the literature within the context of nursing education. This study explores and describes qualitatively the subjective experience and perceptions of nursing students related to their first encounter with instructors in both classroom and clinical settings. A purposeful sampling method was utilized to select 15 nursing students from a nursing school in Iran to participate in semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis approach. Data analysis identified three main themes: (a) preexisting expectations, with the four subthemes of socially shared expectations, personal expectations, profession-related expectations, and reputation-directed expectations; (b) student's judgment, with the three subthemes of assessing the instructor, assessing criteria, and good or bad beginning; and (c) future interactions, with the two subthemes of constructive decisions and destructive decisions. The results show that the initial student-instructor encounter is a process in which students rely heavily on preexisting expectations to assess and judge the initial interaction with their instructor. The findings of this study may help nursing instructors in various national and cultural settings increase their awareness of the factors that influence their first encounters with students. Greater awareness may help positively shape student perspectives of the instructor's role and encourage students to collaborate with the instructor in the teaching and learning process in order to create a better outcome for both.
... In higher education, students' evaluations of teaching are the most widely used measure in investigating teaching effectiveness (Aleamoni 1999;Clayson 2009;Kulik 2001;Stark-Wroblewski et al. 2007;Wilson 1998). Therefore, students' perceptions of teaching effectiveness have received a great deal of attention in the literature, generating a lot of studies and meta-analysis (e.g.: Buchert et al. 2008;Centra 2005Centra , 2006Gaubatz 2000a, b, 2002;Cohen 1981Cohen , 1982Dowell and Neal 1982;Landrum and Braitman 2008;Marsh 2007;McCallum 1984). In fact, Wilson (1998) reported more than 2000 studies have been conducted on this topic. ...
... Studies form the first direction mention that the relationship between students' perceptions and students' grades is affected by various biases and may show significant variations. Factors shown to be relevant are: whether students know their final grade before making ratings (Blass 1980;Greenwald 1997;Greenwald and Gillmore 1997;Worthington and Wong 1979); learning partners' gender (Basow 1995;Basow and Silberg 1987;Carson 2001;Chamberlin and Hickey 2001); class size (Badri et al. 2006;Koh and Tan 1997;Liaw and Goh 2003); evaluation instrument (Landrum and Braitman 2008); students' first impression of the instructor (Buchert et al. 2008); elective courses/ required courses (Marsh and Roche 1997); graduate students/undergraduate students (Marsh 2007;Whitworth et al. 2002); and instructors' rank and experience (Rovai et al. 2006). In contrast, other researchers (Baird 1987;Centra 2005Centra , 2006Gaubatz 2000a, b, 2002;Cohen 1981Cohen , 1982Cohen , 1983d'Apollonia and Abrami 1997;Howard et al. 1985) supported the position that students' perceptions are valid indicators of teaching effectiveness. ...
Article
Gagne's instructional events are more focused on the human internal learning process than on the learning context. This study fills this gap because it presents certain instructional events that are focused on the construction of a positive learning context through the teacher-student relationship. Therefore, it's proposing an adaption of Gagne's instructional model to the learning context derived from observation of the instructional activities performed in the Romanian educational system. This paper added two new events (Learning organization and Final appreciation) to Gagne's original nine instructional events. Out of these eleven, it's considered that three in particular should be regarded as essential events in every teaching activity. These three particular events are categorised and defined in the first part of this study. The effectiveness of this newly proposed theoretical model was tested on a sample of 894 university teaching activities, using a systematic observational grid. The results indicated a significant correlation between the adapted model and students' perceptions of the effectiveness of the teaching activity. It is therefore suggested that this proposed model provides operational guidance for the development of instructional approach. The implications and the limitations of these findings are discussed and possible directions for new research are suggested.
... What seems to be missing from the large body of research in the area of student-teacher relationships and teacher effectiveness is the role of perceptions of students before meeting a teacher, as well as during the initial interactions between teachers and students. For example, Buchert, Laws, Apperson, and Bregman (2008) examined student ratings of professors after the first class session and again after the first two weeks of classes. They did not take into account any information known by students prior to attending the class. ...
... Perry, Abrami, Leventhal, and Check (1979) examined instructor reputation, defined as student expectations of an instructor's teaching ability. Buchert, Laws, Apperson, and Bregman (2008) examined the impact of first impressions on teacher reputation. In this case, students considered first impressions more important than reputation in regard to evaluations. ...
... Participants completed a questionnaire modeled after Buchert et al. (2008) which included items similar to those found on a university-sponsored teacher evaluation form. The following items measured perceived instructor approachability: " The instructor encourages students to ask questions and express their knowledge " . ...
... Moreover, the cognitive consistency perspective provides a framework in which prior central trait research conducted in an educational setting can be integrated. For example, in the Babad et al. (1999) and Buchert et al. (2008) studies, students were exposed to their professor throughout the semester and initial attitudes form about the professor changed. In contrast, in the Griffin (2001) and McClleland (1970) studies, students were given a prompt to recall their initial attitudes about their professors. ...
Article
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It is not uncommon for students to complain that faculty are unapproachable, while faculty complain that students are not engaged. Such perceptions, especially when formed at the start of a semester, can impact what students learn and how instructors teach; therefore, it is critical that these perceptions are prevented if a course is to be successful. A good starting point is the syllabus, which not only informs students about a course and its requirements, but creates a first impression about the instructor and his or her attitudes toward teaching. We conducted an experiment in which the course syllabus was manipulated to reflect a friendly or an unfriendly tone so that we could explore the perceptions students formed of the instructor and class. Results supported the hypothesis that a syllabus written in a friendly, rather than unfriendly, tone evoked perceptions of the instructor being more warm, more approachable, and more motivated to teach the course. KeywordsSyllabus–Tone–Classroom climate–Person perception
... Looking at student teachers' classroom management competences, one might wonder why some students seem to have "it", while others struggle to survive each lesson. Buchert, Laws, Apperson, and Bregman (2008) suggest that students form lasting impressions about their teachers within the first two weeks of classes. In social psychology, numerous studies indicate that the initial judgments perceivers make of the people with whom they interact have an influence on the course and outcome of social interactions (Greenlees, Buscombe, Thelwell, Holder, & Rimmer, 2005). ...
... Several researchers have studied whether students' first impressions have a longlasting impact on their perceptions of subjects and instructors. Buchert et al. [15] concluded that students formed lasting impressions about academic staff within the period of the first two weeks of class. Laws et al. [16] found that the impressions students had formed during the first week persisted until the end of the semester. ...
Article
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The expectations, attitudes, engagement, and motivation of students are key elements when designing learning activities. Several studies have been implemented and different strategies and activities have been analyzed to improve the aforesaid aspects of learning content. In the context of the New Learning Context (NLC), this paper presents the findings of two first day of class activities aimed at engaging engineering students in a business and management subject from the very first moment: an empirical study conducted by means of a survey answered by engineering students in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), followed by an interactive activity between students and instructors carried out through a reciprocal interview activity. The survey was performed with the objective of identifying what they ‘liked’ and ‘disliked’ on their first day of class of a business subject. The findings are presented and compared with previous studies and have proven to be mostly consistent with previous academic work. Finally, a reciprocal interview activity was chosen to potentially enhance the students’ engagement and motivation. According to the feedback received, this activity was positively valued by the students.
... Other studies have examined subtle factors that impact SEI. For example, elective courses score better than compulsory ones (Marsh & Roche, 1997); SEI at the end of a semester can be significantly predicted by students' first impressions of the instructor (Buchert et al., 2008); undergraduate students give lower ratings than graduate students do (Marsh, 2007;Whitworth, Price & Randall, 2002); the faculty member's rank and experience influence SEI (Rovai et al., 2006); and faculty-member characteristics such as enthusiasm and humor can positively impact SEI (Obenchain, Abernathy & Wiest, 2001). ...
Article
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This study investigates the ways in which heads of academic department use student evaluation of instruction (SEI) to make decisions about individual faculty members and/or whole academic departments. The study utilized a convenience sample of 57 heads of department, who completed an online questionnaire with two main constructs, which were assessed at the interval level of measurement. The results of the study revealed significant differences between heads of department who tend to trust SEI results compared to those who tend not to trust SEI results. The findings suggest there is a significant association between how heads of department perceive SEI and how they use it to make decisions about individual faculty members and their academic departments. In addition, analysis of the respondents as per two groups, according to their attitudes of trust or distrust toward SEI, showed that disparities within these groups were greater with respect to issues or decisions that affect individuals as opposed to whole departments. Therefore, the study concludes that decisions should not be made based solely on the results of SEI; rather, multiple sources of evaluation should be utilized to make proper decisions. The author strongly recommends that academic leaders should use SEI across multiple years or courses in order to obtain more reliable information. Future research may include qualitative studies on the topic and discipline-specific studies within certain academic departments or college clusters.
... Lawrence 1998). In the context of higher education, prior research has examined the effects of professor reputation versus first impressions on student evaluations of instruction, for example (Buchert et al. 2008). ...
Article
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Doctoral employment outside universities has been increasing, as universities cannot employ all doctorate holders. Nevertheless, it has been argued that the shift from doctoral programs to the non-academic labour market has been limited. In this qualitative study, more than 800 verbal answers given by doctorate holders to a pair of open-ended questions were content-analysed to explore doctorate holders’ perceptions of the non-academic labour market and the reputational problems they relate to their employment. The study identifies four reputational problems which doctorate holders relate to their employment: the oversupply problem, the overeducation problem, the consistency problem and the communication problem. By identifying potential reputational problems on the doctorate holders level, this research contributes novel information in terms of both theory development and practitioner insights.
... In short, a course syllabus offers many opportunities for making a meaningful first impression with students at a moment when they are most vulnerable. And first impressions matter to students --in fact, they are shown to matter more than an instructor's reputation (Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008). In an online course, the syllabus is the first connection a student has with an instructor, and in humanized online courses it is intentionally designed to welcome and support students. ...
Article
Full-text available
Online courses are increasing access to college for students who have been traditionally left out of higher education. However, minoritized students are less likely to succeed online when compared to their White and Asian peers. As the student population becomes more diverse, colleges and universities have an opportunity to improve this problem by preparing faculty to design and facilitate inclusive online learning experiences that more effectively support the needs of all learners. This paper presents a model for humanized online teaching using a theoretical framework influenced by Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT), social presence, validation theory, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Humanized online teaching ensures the non-cognitive components of learning are addressed through instructor-student relationships and community, allowing connection and empathy to drive engagement and rigor. Six humanizing strategies with real teaching examples are discussed, in addition to goals for meaningful professional development to support the adoption of humanized online teaching. Citation: Pacansky-Brock, M., Smedshammer M., & Vincent-Layton, K. (2020). Humanizing online teaching to equitize higher education. Current Issues in Education, 21(2). Retrieved from Introduction Online courses are playing a more critical role in higher education, as they continue to provide access to low-income students who do not have the privilege of being on campus full-time. However, students from minoritized groups are less likely to succeed in online courses. "Humanizing" is a pedagogical strategy that seeks to improve equity gaps by acknowledging the fact that learning environments are not neutral; rather, they often operate to reinforce a worldview that minoritizes some students. The assumption that student engagement and academic achievement are inherent student attributes is deeply embedded in the culture of higher education, and trickles down to the way courses are taught. This assumption privileges students who have been cued to think they are college material, as well as those who learn effectively through reading and writing. Humanizing recognizes that engagement and achievement are social constructs developed through the background and experiences students bring to college and the educational environment provided for them. Looking at engagement and achievement through this lens nudges educators to shift the burden from students to the barriers within our own practices. Humanizing removes the affective and cognitive barriers from online learning, and provides a pathway towards a more equitable future for higher education that supports the success of all students. As online course enrollments continue to increase and serve more diverse learners, research is needed to identify strategies that effectively foster an inclusive course climate from a distance. While the theoretical frameworks that underpin inclusion in online courses are similar to those in on-campus courses, how to best implement these frameworks in asynchronous online courses presents unique challenges, remaining a murky topic for institutional leaders, instructors, instructional designers, and instructional technologists. The research-based Peralta Equity Rubric (2019) is one resource that institutions are beginning to use to foster inclusive learning in online courses, and is a sign that online courses are emerging as a critical component of equity efforts. Humanizing offers clear, practical teaching strategies for online instruction that cultivate an inclusive online course climate better able to support the cognitive and affective differences that co-exist within a college course. Instructor-student relationships lie at the heart of humanizing, serving as the connective tissue between students, engagement, and rigor. Humanizing strategies use welcoming visuals and warm asynchronous communications to establish positive first impressions, trust between the instructor and students, and a culture of care in the online environment. To leverage the potential that humanized online education offers for equitizing the future of higher education, institutions must keep students at the center of decisions and invest in professional development to prepare faculty who teach online.
... In short, a course syllabus offers many opportunities for making a meaningful first impression with students at a moment when they are most vulnerable. And first impressions matter to students --in fact, they are shown to matter more than an instructor's reputation (Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008). In an online course, the syllabus is the first connection a student has with an instructor, and in humanized online courses it is intentionally designed to welcome and support students. ...
... In short, a course syllabus offers many opportunities for making a meaningful first impression with students at a moment when they are most vulnerable. And first impressions matter to students --in fact, they are shown to matter more than an instructor's reputation (Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008). In an online course, a syllabus is the first connection a student has with an instructor, and in humanized online courses it intentionally is designed to welcome and support students. ...
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Online courses are increasing access to college for students who have been traditionally left out of higher education. However, minoritized students are less likely to succeed online when compared to White and Asian peers. As the student population becomes more diverse, colleges and universities have an opportunity to improve this problem by preparing faculty to design and facilitate inclusive online learning experiences that more effectively support the needs of all learners. This paper presents a model for humanized online teaching using a theoretical framework influenced by Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT), social presence, validation theory, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Humanized online teaching ensures the non- cognitive components of learning are addressed through instructor-student relationships and community, allowing connection and empathy to drive engagement and rigor. Six humanizing strategies with real teaching examples are discussed, in addition to goals for meaningful professional development to support the adoption of humanized online teaching. Keywords: online teaching, interaction, equity, diverse students, inclusive teaching
... Yunker and Yunker (2003) found a negative relationship between student evaluations and student achievement (see also Coker et al., 1980) and Weinstein (1987). Centra (2003) and Buchert et al. (2008) found that it is possible for student evaluation of teaching to be influenced by first impressions of instructors and grade expectations. Student evaluations are known to be lower in freshman classes where the students are less mature. ...
Article
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The marginal contribution of faculty to student learning at an AACSB-accredited College of Business Administration in a public university located in a southeastern state in the United States (U.S.) is measured for the first time by an objective quantitative method. Student cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), centralized to avoid grade inflation relates to the partial amount of credit hours each teacher devotes to students. We proffer that the marginal contribution of the professor to student GPA earned per contact hour of instruction is the regression coefficient associated with the professor. Since the university uses GPA as a measure of progress, contribution to GPA is the professorial teaching contribution to the university objective. Such a teaching contribution is consistent with the professor’s assignment of responsibility. The computational results of a five-year empirical data analysis are presented.
... Dado el carácter transversal de los estudios analizados, proponemos como investigaciones futuras la realización de estudios longitudinales para determinar la perdurabilidad de la credibilidad de los docentes, es decir, analizar si la percepción del estudiante sobre la credibilidad del profesor se mantiene o cambia a lo largo del curso académico y determinar qué variables contribuyen al mantenimiento o alteración de dichas percepciones. Al respecto, existen ciertas investigaciones acerca de la perdurabilidad de las percepciones de los estudiantes sobre los profesores aunque con conclusiones distintas ya que algunos estudios señalan que las percepciones iniciales se mantienen hasta el final del año académico mientras que otros destacan que cambian conforme avanza el curso (Babad, Kaplowitz y Darley, 1999;Buchert, Laws, Apperson y Bregman, 2008;Clayson, 2013). ...
Article
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En los últimos años la credibilidad docente ha sido considerada como una de las variables más significativas en la comunicación profesor-alumno, constituyendo un elemento fundamental en el proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje. Las investigaciones realizadas sobre la credibilidad docente se han centrado fundamentalmente en analizar las variables que afectan a ésta y su impacto en el proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje. Así, el objetivo del presente estudio consistió en establecer el estado de la cuestión acerca de la credibilidad docente a través de una revisión de la literatura existente, estableciendo las variables que la afectan y determinando su impacto en el proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje. Se llevó a cabo una búsqueda bibliográfica en las bases de datos Web of Science, Scopus, PyscINFO y ERIC, seleccionándose para la revisión un total de 64 artículos científicos, publicados entre 1980 y 2018, que cumplieron con los criterios de inclusión establecidos. En relación con las variables que afectan a la credibilidad de los docentes, se identificaron 8 categorías mientras que, con respecto al impacto de la credibilidad docente en el proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje, se identificaron 5 categorías, incluyéndose en cada una de ellas las principales aportaciones de los estudios incluidos en el análisis. . A partir de los resultados obtenidos, se destaca la influencia de los comportamientos de los profesores tanto en las evaluaciones de los estudiantes sobre los mismos como en el proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje, por lo que se señala la necesidad de que los profesores tengan conductas positivas para ser percibidos por los estudiantes como personas creíbles y, por lo tanto, para que afecte positivamente al proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje.
... Moreover, if the gap between intention and translation is wide enough, the empirical evidence collected is irrelevant. (Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008), for instance, examined the effects of instructor reputation versus first impressions on a locally developed SRI. Students completed an SRI survey either before the first class, to assess their perceptions of the instructor's reputation, or within the first two weeks of the class, to gauge their first impressions of the instructor. ...
Article
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Periodically, articles reporting research on student ratings of instruction (SRI), aka student evaluations of teaching, appear in the higher-education press. This literature often summarizes studies that challenge the validity and reliability of SRI. However, before drawing a conclusion about a quantitative study touted in the media, readers should evaluate both the credibility and generalizability of the primary source. In this paper, the authors review one set of criteria that aids in such evaluation-David Krathwohl's (2009) judgments about (a) internal validity or linking power; and (b) external validity or generalizing power. Internal validity is the extent to which a study demonstrates that its investigated variables are linked in a relationship. External validity is how well a study establishes that its findings are generalizable. Applying such criteria can prevent biased takeaways created from merely reading a news article without assessing the quality of the research paper it summarizes.
... As some participants addressed in the FGIs, visualized content is not limited to visual images but can be achieved by underlining or highlighting text with different colors or bolded letters. By doing so, PR course instructors can benefit from the positive impressions of their course, as well as themselves, as the first impression may be weighted more heavily than other sources of information (e.g., instructor reputation; Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008). More importantly, the results for the length (i.e., a short syllabus) indicate the elevated importance of the type of information that is included. ...
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine how a format of a syllabus influences student motivation and engagement in a public relations course and students' impression of the course and course instructor. This study conducted focus group interviews and a lab experiment with undergraduate students at a large university in the Midwestern United States to examine how a format-design or length-of a PR course syllabus can affect student motivation, engagement, and impression of the course and course instructor. Results from the two focus group interviews were mixed, but students' preferences were geared toward the long version of the visually appealing syllabus. Findings from the experimental study show no effect of syllabus design on student engagement. However, the visually appealing syllabus had an effect on student motivation, and its short version produced positive impressions of the course and course instructor.
... A negative relationship between student evaluations and student achievement was found by Yunker and Yunker (2003). It is possible for first impressions of instructors and grade expectations to influence student evaluation of teaching ( Centra 2003;Buchert et al., 2008). A study by Marshall (2005) reported that student evaluations were ineffective and inefficient. ...
Preprint
A unique method is presented for evaluating university faculty contribution to student learning. The contribution is obtained by regressing inflation proof re-centered student cumulative grade point average (gpa) on the fraction of the total number of credit hours that students are taught by each professor. We postulate that the resulting regression coefficients measure the average rate at which each professor contributes to student learning as measured by cumulative grade points earned per contact hour of instruction. Since this model is based on grades that are assigned by individual professors, it is in effect a faculty peer evaluation of gpa outcome based learning as defined by the university. A privacy protected anonymous faculty and student body empirical study is conducted.
... Because accurate impressions are generated through this process, many variables can be impactful. For example, variables such as time of the interaction (Bar, Neta, & Linz, 2006; Willis & Todorov, 2006), physical features of the target (Masip, Garrido, & Herrero, 2004), intentions of the judge (Chartrand & Bargh, 1996; McCulloch, Ferguson, Kawada, & Bargh, 2008), and significant others' perceptions of the target (Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008; Pontari & Schlenker, 2004; Schlenker, Lifka, & Wowra, 2004) have been found to play an integral role in the formation of impressions. Traditionally, the process of impression formation has occurred in a face-to-face (Ftf) environment. ...
Article
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As technology advances, social processes that have traditionally occurred face-to-face (Ftf), are taking place in an electronic environment. First impressions when interviewing for a job or finding a significant other are now commonly made via Skype, Facebook, or other electronic applications. Although zero-acquaintance literature is vast, few studies have investigated impression formation via video-mediated communication (VMC) or social networking sites (SNS). Furthermore, little is known about the effects of perceiver intent on these impressions. Two studies evaluated impression positivity among Ftf, VMC, and SNS, and between 2 perceiver intents. In both studies Ftf and VMC introductions did not differ significantly. Furthermore, Study 2 indicated that both Ftf and VMC introductions produced significantly more positive impressions than SNS regardless of perceiver intent. However, once age and SNS usage were controlled, this significant difference did not hold. These findings have practical implications across an array of situations.
... Research on thin-slice judgments has shown that initial impressions of instructors may be just as reliable as impressions informed by more experience and time. Furthermore, related research suggests that these first impressions may be weighted more heavily than other sources of information (e.g., instructor reputation; see Buchert et al. 2008). It is thus likely that participants in this study provided judgments that were as reliable as students with a vested interest in the course. ...
Article
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Research has suggested that a lengthier course syllabus may increase positive impressions of instructor effectiveness. In this investigation, we disentangle the effects of adding restrictive course boundary information from the addition of course content information. Furthermore, we examine the role of instructor gender as a moderator of the relationship between syllabi content and impressions of instructor effectiveness. Undergraduate students (N D 126) enrolled in a general psychology course read a syllabus for a course with either a male or female instructor in which the syllabus either contained basic course information alone, additional restrictive course policy information or additional course content information. Results revealed that only additional restrictive course boundary information increased perceptions of instructor competence. Instructor gender did not significantly moderate this effect, suggesting more restrictive course policy information may equally benefit male and female instructors. Implications and future directions are discussed.
... En effet, l'option méthodologique retenue dans cette étude ne permet pas de distinguer les connaissances antérieures construites directement par le sujet au cours d'interactions préalables avec un individu, de connaissances acquises de façon indirecte sur la base d'informations rapportées par autrui. Buchert et al. (2008) distinguent ainsi la réputation, définie comme une connaissance partagée et exprimée à propos de quelqu'un avant même de l'avoir rencontré (connaissance indirecte), des impressions formées à propos de quelqu'un après l'avoir rencontré (connaissance directe). Appliquées à la thématique de l'arbitrage, les connaissances directes se développeraient à partir d'interactions réelles avec un arbitre (par exemple avoir déjà été arbitré par celui-ci lors de précédentes rencontres) qui aurait officié de manière plus ou moins sévère, tandis que la réputation s'établirait sur la base d'informations obtenues par le biais de l'entraîneur, d'un dirigeant, de partenaires ou encore de la presse. ...
... In other words, during the first one or two weeks of interaction between teachers and students, the students could develop the perception of a teacher as being high maintenance. This is consistent with past studies, which suggested students' first impressions of their teachers are mostly formed in the first two weeks and even at the time of first contact with the teachers (Babad et al. 2004;Buchert et al. 2008). In addition, the principle of students judging teachers' high maintenance behaviors was based on the communication between teachers and students. ...
Article
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Using a questionnaire survey, this study probed into interpersonal cues and characteristics of teachers' high maintenance behaviors perceived by university students and their coping strategies, and then analyzed the relationship between their perceived high maintenance behaviors and the dimensions of their coping strategies. The Scale of Teachers' High maintenance Behaviors and the Scale of Coping with Teachers' High maintenance Behaviors were used as the measurement tools. The subjects were 248 university students, of which 59.3 % were male and 40.7 % were female. According to the research results, the subjects mostly suggested that they define teachers as being high maintenance after getting along with them for one to two weeks and communicating with them using 6-20 sentences. The subjects also suggested that the ranking of the behavioral characteristics of the most significant high maintenance behaviors of teachers is: being old-fashioned, followed by rule followers, idealization, and irresponsible opinions. According to the scores, the ranking of the subjects' coping strategies for high maintenance behaviors of teachers is obedience and endurance, followed by gentle resistance, compromise, and obvious unhappiness. There is a significant correlation between teachers' high maintenance behaviors perceived by university students and the dimensions of their coping strategies. It was found that teachers' high maintenance behaviors perceived by university students could significantly predict the dimensions of coping strategies. Based on the above, this study proposed some suggestions and provided a discussion for university teachers and future studies.
... Other studies investigated the influence of extraneous factors on student evaluation of instruction. For example, students' first impression of the instructor significantly predicts students' end-of-semester evaluation of instruction (Buchert et al. 2008); Elective courses tend to receive higher ratings than required courses (Marsh and Roche 1997); Graduate students rate instructors more favorably than undergraduate students (Marsh 2007;Whitworth et al. 2002); And instructors' rank and experience are found to influence student ratings slightly (Rovai et al. 2006). ...
Article
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Distance education has experienced soaring development over the last decade. With millions of students in higher education enrolling in distance education, it becomes critically important to understand student learning and experiences with online education. Based on a large sample of 11,351 students taught by 1,522 instructors from 29 colleges and universities, this study investigates the factors that impact student evaluation of instruction in distance education, using a two-level hierarchical model. Key findings reveal that in a distance education setting, gender and class size are no longer significant predictors of quality of instruction. However, factors such as reasons for taking the course, student class status and instructor’s academic rank have a significant impact on student evaluation of learning and instruction. Findings from this study offer important implications for institutional administrators on utilizing the evaluation results and on developing strategies to help faculty become effective online instructors.
... People's judgment of others is often guided by their first impression. This effect has been repeatedly demonstrated with SET ratings (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993;Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008;Ortinau & Bush, 1987;Tom, Tong, & Hesse, 2010). These studies suggested that students form a lasting impression of the instructor within the first two weeks of class, or even in as little as 30 seconds, which was then reflected in the end-of-semester SET ratings. ...
Article
The goal of this experimental study was to evaluate the influence of course type, instructor and student gender, and student individual differences (domain-specific vocational interests and confidence, personality, and gender role attitudes) on student evaluation of teaching (SET) scores. A sample of 610 college students (372 female) rated hypothetical instructors described in a vignette on eight common dimensions of teaching effectiveness. Mean SET ratings were not significantly different across instructor gender and course type. A series of multiple regressions revealed, however, that student individual differences explained a significant proportion of the variance in SET ratings. The most salient traits that were significantly related to SET ratings were agreeableness, conscientiousness, conventional and investigative confidence, and gender role attitudes. In addition, female students gave significantly higher mean ratings than male students independent of course type or instructor gender. This effect was eliminated when statistically controlling for students' individual differences. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that student individual differences can bias SET scores, which poses a threat to the validity of the ratings.
... In the classroom as well as elsewhere, first impressions are particularly important (Buchert, Laws, Apperson, & Bregman, 2008). As other authors have suggested (McKeachie, 2006;Perlman & McCann, 1999;2004), the first day of class should serve to break the ice and to establish what will come to be the norm in the classroom. ...
Article
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The article can be accessed at: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/march-13/tips-for-the-first-time-graduate-student-instructor.html
Article
Résumé Objectif Cette revue narrative de littérature a pour objectif de présenter les études réalisées sur la notion d’accueil dans le champ de la santé mentale. Le concept d’accueil reste aujourd’hui difficile à cerner par les professionnels de soins et leurs bénéficiaires. Il s’agit d’une notion féconde mais dont les contours sont encore mal délimités. Méthode Une synthèse a été effectuée à l’aide de 4 moteurs de recherche : PubMed, PsychINFO, Cairn et Science Direct. Au total, 17 publications notoires ont été sélectionnées. Résultats Sept dimensions de l’accueil ont émergé : (1) démarche relationnelle ; (2) processus singulier et itératif ; (3) conditions de l’accueil ; (4) risques de la rencontre ; (5) qualités personnelles des accueillants ; (6) actions à l’accueil ; (7) besoins des accueillis. Conclusion Il apparaît que l’accueil doit être conçu comme un processus itératif complexe inscrit, avant tout, dans une démarche relationnelle.
Article
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This study first examined the factors that enhance learning effectiveness and student satisfaction when an interactive response system (IRS) is introduced to a financial planning course. Second, we examined the influence of the initial experience of using an IRS on subsequent learning results. A total of 217 financial practitioners participated in a three-session financial course. During the course, the instructor interacted with the participants using the IRS. Participants were asked to use the smartphone-based IRS to interact with their instructor, and they were requested to complete two tests (a pretest and a posttest) and a satisfaction survey after each session. Participation data were directly imported into the UMU system for statistical analysis. The results indicated that task–technology fit (TTF) and instructor ability were predictors of learning effectiveness and student satisfaction. The perception of TTF in the first session had a positive effect on the cognitive results in the subsequent stages, which was the primacy effect. Moreover, a recency effect was observed in the affective results, meaning that the influence of the perception of TTF and instructor ability in the concurrent session on student satisfaction was stronger than the influence of previous experiences. Research and practical implications are presented to conclude the paper.
Article
For several decades research into the student evaluation of teaching has periodically found an association between how well students like an instructor and the evaluations. The association has been largely ignored, being seen as an indicator of bias, or as a statistical or procedural artifact. However, these interpretations may be obscuring a more fundamental hypothesis. It is possible that the evaluations, instead of being a measure of ‘good’ or ‘effective’ teaching as commonly conceived, are actually a measure of a student-perceived construct similar to likability. This study looks directly at the influence of likability on the student evaluation of teaching. Knowing nothing about an instructor or how a class was taught, students’ perception of likability accounted for two-thirds of the total variance of the evaluations. The student evaluation of teaching could be replaced with a single likability measure, with little loss of predictability.
Article
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It is important to understand how uniforms influence public perceptions of the police. The current study utilized a randomized design in which undergraduate students at a Canadian university were exposed to a series of photographs of officers wearing different uniform configurations (i.e., special duty vs. traditional uniform, dark vs. light shirt, dishevelled vs. tidy uniform, and uniform trousers with and without a stripe). Participants rated each officer on numerous scales including: (1) the officer’s personal qualities (e.g., helpfulness), (2) abilities or behaviors that the officer is likely to display (e.g., excessive force), and (3) the behavioral intentions of the participant toward the observed officer (e.g., willing to confide sensitive information to them). When controlling for general perceptions of police legitimacy, results suggest that, compared to the control conditions (i.e., normal operational uniform), introducing the uniform manipulations significantly influenced ratings on items related to community relations, professionalism, and officer safety. The current study speaks to the complicated relationship between the police appearing approachable and professional to the public, while also considering possible officer safety concerns associated with their uniform.
Chapter
This chapter presents the concept of evaluation from a holistic perspective and then develops an approach to the constituent elements of evaluation in the specific educational context, pointing out authors of obligatory reference and some historical references. Then, the concept of teacher evaluation is introduced, since relationships in the educational context emerge due to the confluence of two actors: those who want to learn and those who have something to teach.
Article
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A unique method is presented for evaluating university faculty contribution to student learning. The contribution is obtained by regressing inflation proof re-centered student cumulative grade point average (GPA) on the fraction of the total number of credit hours that students are taught by each professor. We postulate that the resulting regression coefficients measure the average rate at which each professor contributes to student learning as measured by cumulative grade points earned per contact hour of instruction. Since this model is based on grades that are assigned by individual professors, it is in effect a faculty peer evaluation of GPA outcome based learning as defined by the university. A privacy protected anonymous faculty and student body empirical study is conducted.
Article
The Christian scholarship movement in North American Christian higher education has been more successful in focusing on questions arising from disciplinary theory than in illuminating how faith informs pedagogical practice. This article begins from extended interpretation of a brief episode of teaching in a second language classroom and draws upon accounts of the role of imagination in social practice to elucidate how faith, as part of a web of beliefs and assumptions, can structure the shared practice of teaching and learning. It is argued that preaching and modeling are inadequate to account for the role of faith in practice; it is rather at the intersection of embodied practice and shared imagination that faith more fully informs pedagogical patterns.
Article
Considerable debate continues regarding the efficacy of the website RateMyProfessors.com (RMP). To date, however, virtually no direct, experimental research has been reported which directly bears on questions relating to sampling adequacy or item adequacy in producing what favorable correlations have been reported. The authors compare the data provided by RMP relative to experimentally controlled, systematically collected data that offers a more rigorous evaluation of the findings reported by RMP. Six equivalent undergraduate course sections with 252 students were systematically studied with respect to professor evaluations using simple RMP scales versus a more complex, multi-item scale. Major findings were twofold: (a) RMP samples were entirely inadequate to statistically project the evaluations of other students at conventionally accepted research levels; and (b) statistically significant differences between stated RMP scores compared to those using a more ample attribute approach were found, with RMP evaluations biased in a negative direction.
Article
Using a field-based methodology, we attempted to determine how rapidly students formulate enduring impressions of the professor, as measured by student evaluations of instruction (SEI). During the first week of instruction, 384 undergraduate students from psychology courses completed SEI surveys. Of those, 206 completed the SEI after Day 1 of instruction and 178 completed the SEI at the end of Week I. All students completed the same form during the last week of the semester. Results suggest that students form lasting impressions during the first class period, which persist until the end of the semester. As in previous research, the upper-level students displayed higher evaluations than the introductory-level students.
Article
This research examines the association between student pre-course attitudes and two dependent variables later in the semester: student attitudes toward a course and evaluations of the course. Correlation and OLS regression analysis indicate significant relationships between the variables. Student evaluations of contrasting courses were also compared: for an organizational behavior course (social science) and two contrasting business courses on quantitative topics. Attitudes toward the organizational behavior course as a social science course were more positive than attitudes toward courses on quantitative topics. The results contradict prior research. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Article
Reading teacher education, as is true with much of higher education, is plagued with pressures of providing “here and now” answers to very complex, entangled issues. The reading methods course becomes the site of many of these pressures, despite considerable insights provided by scholars such as Kumaravadivelu (2001) that methods may be more of the problem than the solution. In this article, we explore an emergent conceptualization of the reading teacher educator as “customer service provider” and discuss how this approach threatens reading teacher education. We voice our concerns that the pressure on reading teacher educators to deliver content in the “customer service” model denies preservice teachers access to critical pedagogies.
Article
The present study examined whether student evaluations of college teaching (SETs) reflected a bias predicated on the perceived race and gender of the instructor. Using anonymous, peer-generated evaluations of teaching obtained from RateMyProfessors.com, the present study examined SETs from 3,079 White; 142 Black; 238 Asian; 130 Latino; and 128 Other race faculty at the 25 highest ranked liberal arts colleges. Results showed that racial minority faculty, particularly Blacks and Asians, were evaluated more negatively than White faculty in terms of overall quality, helpfulness, and clarity, but were rated higher on easiness. A two-stage cluster analysis demonstrated that the very best instructors were likely to be White, whereas the very worst were more likely to be Black or Asian. Few effects of gender were observed, but several interactions emerged showing that Black male faculty were rated more negatively than other faculty. The results of the present study are consistent with the negative racial stereotypes of racial minorities and have implications for the tenure and promotion of racial minority faculty. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Many colleges and universities have adopted the use of student ratings of instruction as one (often the most influential) measure of instructional effectiveness. In this article, the authors present evidence that although effective instruction may be multidimensional, student ratings of instruction measure general instructional skill, which is a composite of 3 subskills: delivering instruction, facilitating interactions, and evaluating student learning. The authors subsequently report the results of a meta-analysis of the multisection validity studies that indicate that student ratings are moderately valid; however, administrative, instructor, and course characteristics influence student ratings of instruction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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We examined the effects of Kelley's "warm/cold" manipulation on first impressions of persons and teaching ability. A stimulus person, posing as a visiting professor, gave a "neutral" lecture to 240 university students. Before the stimulus person appeared, half of the subjects received information that he was a rather warm person, whereas the other half was told that he was a rather cold person. In turn, half of each of these groups was informed that he was a professor of physical education and the other half that he was a professor of social psychology. A 2 (warm/cold condition) × 2 (discipline of the stimulus-person ) × 2 (subjects' sex) multivariate analysis of variance revealed that (a) subjects who were led to believe that the stimulus person was warm perceived him as a more effective teacher and as less unpleasant, more sociable, less irritable, less ruthless, more humorous, less formal, and more humane than did subjects who were told that he was a cold person; and (b) neither the disciplinary status of the stimulus person nor the sex of the subjects had an effect on subjects' perception of the lecturer. Results were discussed in regard to halo, context, and status effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This article reviews research indicating that, under ap-propriate conditions, students' evaluations of teaching (SETs) are (a) multidimensional; (b) reliable and stable; (c) primarily a function of the instructor who teaches a course rather than the course that is taught; (d) relatively valid against a variety of indicators of effective teaching; (e) relatively unaffected by a variety of variables hypoth-esized as potential biases (e.g., grading leniency, class size, workload, prior subject interest); and (f) useful in improving teaching effectiveness when SETS are coupled with appropriate consultation. The authors recommend rejecting a narrow criterion-related approach to validity and adopting a broad construct-validation approach, recognizing that effective teaching and SETs that reflect teaching effectiveness are multidimensional; no single criterion of effective teaching is sufficient; and tentative interpretations of relations with validity criteria and po-tential biases should be evaluated critically in different contexts, in relation to multiple criteria of effective teach-ing, theory, and existing knowledge. H eated debate concerning the merits and the short-comings of students' evaluations of teaching (SETs) continues to flourish, despite intensive ongoing research and international growth in their use as one indicator of teaching quality (Centra, 1993; Feldman, 1997; Marsh & Roche, 1994; Watkins, 1994). In this article, we emphasize the importance of recognizing the multidimensionality of teaching and SETs in understand-ing research evidence in relation to the validity, perceived bias, and usefulness of SETs. This perspective is im-portant for administrators, program developers, and po-tential users in making informed decisions regarding the appropriate use of SETs and for future SET research.
Article
It is well established that students' evaluative ratings of instruction correlate positively with expected course grades. The authors identify 4 additional data patterns that, collectively, discriminate among 5 theories of the grades-ratings correlation. The presence of all 4 of these markers in student ratings data (obtained at University of Washington) was most consistent with the theory that the grades-ratings correlation is due to an unwanted influence of instructors' grading leniency on ratings. This conclusion justifies use of a statistical correction-illustrated here with actual ratings data-to remove the unwanted inflation of ratings produced by lenient grading. Additional research can profitably seek other inappropriate influences on ratings to identify more opportunities for validity-enhancing adjustments.
Article
The present study used meta-analytic methodology to synthesize research on the relationship between student ratings of instruction and student achievement. The data for the meta-analysis came from 41 independent validity studies reporting on 68 separate multisection courses relating student ratings to student achievement. The average correlation between an overall instructor rating and student achievement was .43; the average correlation between an overall course rating and student achievement was .47. While large effect sizes were also found for more specific rating dimensions such as Skill and Structure, other dimensions showed more modest relationships with student achievement. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that rating/achievement correlations were larger for full-time faculty when students knew their final grades before rating instructors and when an external evaluator graded students’ achievement tests. The results of the meta-analysis provide strong support for the validity of student ratings as measures of teaching effectiveness.
Article
A study showed that student opinion could be affected by publishing results of earlier student ratings, but that these influences were not permanent; course changes would be reflected in later ratings. (DR)
Article
The accuracy of strangers' consensual judgments of personality based on "thin slices" of targets' nonverbal behavior were examined in relation to an ecologically valid criterion variable. In the 1st study, consensual judgments of college teachers' molar nonverbal behavior based on very brief (under 30 sec) silent video clips significantly predicted global end-of-semester student evaluations of teachers. In the 2nd study, similar judgments predicted a principal's ratings of high school teachers. In the 3rd study, ratings of even thinner slices (6 and 15 sec clips) were strongly related to the criterion variables. Ratings of specific micrononverbal behaviors and ratings of teachers' physical attractiveness were not as strongly related to the criterion variable. These findings have important implications for the areas of personality judgment, impression formation, and nonverbal behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In this article, the author discusses the other articles in this Current Issues section (see records 85-00210, 00217, 00208, 00211) and concludes that all of the authors agree that student ratings are valid but that contextual variables such as grading leniency can affect the level of ratings. The authors disagree about the wisdom of applying statistical corrections for such contextual influences. This article argues that the problem lies neither in the ratings nor in the correction but rather in the lack of sophistication of personnel committees who use the ratings. Thus, more attention should be directed toward methods of ensuring more valid use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Solomon Asch''s classic (1946) warm/cold research was replicated in this study with introductory psychology professors, using students'' evaluations of teaching (SET) as dependent variables. Students completed attributed course evaluation forms three times: (a) after receiving fabricated warm or ''cold" information but before seeing the instructor; (b) after a 30–minute exposure to the instructor in an introductory lecture; and (c) at the end of the semester. In the first administration, strong warm/cold differences were found for the social components of SET, and warm instructors were also judged as more lenient. In the larger courses of Instructor B (but not in the smaller courses of Instructor A), the cold instructor was judged higher than the warm one in academic components of SET. In the second administration, following a 30–minute exposure to the instructor, students'' judgments changed considerably, most warm/cold effects disappeared, and, unlike the common reports in the literature, we found only a moderate level of perseverance. In the third administration, all warm/cold differences practically disappeared, with no evidence of prolonged perseverance. These findings were interpreted as demonstrating students'' flexibility in accommodating their judgments to the accumulating real-life information. It was argued that although cognitive factors determine a certain level of perseverance (especially in a short exposure), motivational factors and cognitive style play a major role in determining whether initial judgments will persevere or not. Students'' personal beliefs in human changeability were found related to their actual change in judgment, incremental theorists (those believing in changeability) showing more change than entity theorists (those believing in fixed, unchangeable traits). Thus, perseverance of judgments is also related to systematic individual differences in students'' cognitive style.
Article
This study examined the power of judges' ratings of professors' nonverbal (NV) classroom behavior in content-free brief instances (nine seconds) to predict actual end-of-course students' ratings of teaching (SRT). Professors in 67 courses were videotaped in 4 instructional situations: First class session; Lecturing; Interacting with students; and Talking about the course. The overall finding was that thin slices of professors' content-free NV behavior could indeed predict SRT, but different patterns were found for defined instructional situations. Positive judgments of brief instances of NV lecturing behavior predicted positive post-course SRT components pertaining to the instructor. Positive judgments of NV behavior while interacting with students were negatively related to favorable SRTs. This counter-intuitive finding was tentatively explained by the fact that SRTs were negatively related to course difficulty, and professors presumably might have made greater efforts in their interaction with students in difficult courses, but these courses received lower ratings anyway. Micro-analyses of 44 molecular variables illuminated the NV profile of effective lecturing, and showed distinctions between NV profiles of effective professors and effective TV interviewers from a previous study. Social-educational implications of the findings for the SRT literature and for the NV literature were discussed.
Article
It is well established that students' evaluative ratings of instruction correlate positively with expected course grades. The authors identify 4 additional data patterns that, collectively, discriminate among 5 theories of the grades--ratings correlation. The presence of all 4 of these markers in student ratings data (obtained at University of Washington) was most consistent with the theory that the grades--ratings correlation is due to an unwanted influence of instructors' grading leniency on ratings. This conclusion justifies use of a statistical correction--illustrated here with actual ratings data--to remove the unwanted inflation of ratings produced by lenient grading. Additional research can profitably seek other inappropriate influences on ratings to identify more opportunities for validity-enhancing adjustments.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the association between instructor reputation, as perceived by students, and student evaluations of the instructor and course. A total of 754 students from 39 classes participated in the study. Based on what students claimed to have heard about the instructor prior to enrolling in the course, they were classified into one of three groups: positive reputation, no information, and negative reputation. Using these groupings, two analyses were performed. In the first, mean overall ratings for the instructor and course were calculated and presented by class. In the second, both instructor and course ratings were modeled using multilevel regression. Results show large mean differences in both instructor and course ratings between the positive and negative reputation groups. More specifically, students who heard positive information regarding the instructor's reputation rated both the instructor and course higher than students who heard negative information about the instructor. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.