Relationship between teacher/course evaluations and student expectations of grades: Inferences about student learning and quality of teaching
Valtcheva, Anna Valentinova
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Over many years universities have been interested in what students have to say about the quality of their education. Student evaluations of their courses and instructors have been widely used in colleges and universities in the USA as a measure of teaching effectiveness. Whatever the use of the teacher/course evaluations is in each university it is needed to know whether those evaluations can be considered as a source for determining and improving the quality of teaching. The lack of consistency of the findings of existing research has made it hard, if possible at all, to make firm conclusions. The current study was conducted in University at Buffalo and its objective was to examine the relationship between the teacher/course evaluations and the students' expectations of grades when various aspects of the courses were considered. Findings indicated that the few available for analyses variables (students' evaluations, class type, class level, and students' class standing) had a fairly small, but significant influence on the students' estimation of amount they have learned in their classes, measured by the reported expected grades. The results revealed that students' evaluations of their instructors and courses indeed predicted some proportion of their final outcome and that quality of teaching was related to student learning.