Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education



Robert Lewis

Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by the Professional and Organizational

Development Network in Higher Education, volume 14, 1995.


This paper demonstrates how computer analysis of student ratings can assist professors in instructional development. Student ratings of three courses taught by the author were placed in computer databases and were then manipulated using BASIC programs. The needs of different client groups within a class were considered. Ratings of students who had different professional goals and differing preferences for learning goal structures were compared. The responses of students to nine different procedures within a class were analyzed to study the interaction between enjoyment, challenge, and learning on the class components. The author argues that computer analysis of the raw data from student course evaluations offers a valuable method for improving teaching practices.