Evaluating the Evaluation: Concerns about Student Evaluation of Teaching
Received 19 March 2019 / Revised 28 April 2019 / Accepted in final form 20 May 2019 / Publish Online 8 June 2019
It is believed that students’ perception of how they are taught is essential in evaluating teachers for faculty development and personnel decision-making purposes. Thus, student evaluation of teaching, or SET, is a staple in educational institutions, especially in colleges and universities. There are, however, questions about the reliability and fairness of such practice. Many factors are perceived to influence student ratings of their teachers’ performance, and grading is a persistent concern. As results of such evaluations are commonly used for administrative decisions, such as for faculty promotions or salary adjustments, teachers are tempted to modify their behavior to obtain favorable ratings. It is therefore suggested that student evaluation of teaching be handled with care in terms of formulation and administration, and be used in conjunction with other methods in order to have a valid and reliable evaluation of teachers’ performance.