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How do faculty use student evaluation feedback? A multiple case study

Yuankun Yao, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Although there is a formal mechanism at most universities to use student evaluation feedback in personnel decision making, it is not clear whether the other major purpose of student evaluation, namely, the use of student evaluation feedback by faculty to improve their teaching, is also being accomplished. ^ The purpose of this study was to describe the behaviors and perceptions of ten faculty members in using student evaluation feedback to improve their teaching at the School of Education of a mid-western research university. The participants were from the five departments in the School and had been teaching at the university for a period of 3–27 years. ^ The qualitative research paradigm was adopted for this multiple case study. I interviewed the participants about their experiences in using student evaluation feedback, especially feedback from end of semester student evaluations, in improving their teaching. I also collected documents at various levels of the university. Other data were obtained on the university and the School of Education web pages. ^ Although end of semester student evaluation was originally required by the School of Education for annual review and tenure and promotion process, every participant used the feedback to guide their teaching improvement efforts. Many participants also used mid-term student evaluation. Faculty made a selective use of the student evaluation feedback. They also felt the need to validate feedback and tried to avoid acting on isolated information. Most of them also sought help from the Faculty Professional Development Center at the university. ^ A colleague of mine provided the peer review of the research process. A researcher outside this institution was invited to be the external auditor for the study. ^ The results of the study were discussed in relation to the existing literature. Recommendations were also provided for faculty members, their colleagues, administrators, and future researchers. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Yao, Yuankun, "How do faculty use student evaluation feedback? A multiple case study" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3022674.