Toward a More Just Student Evaluation of Teaching: An Investigation of the Literature

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  • Student evaluations of teaching (SETs) have come under fire in recent years as their value relative to their deficiencies became the topic of arbitration between Ryerson University and Ryerson Faculty Association in 2016. This study looks at these deficiencies as well as asks whether the design and process of student evaluation should be amended in order to increase their value. The methodology chosen is a literature review. In addition to using intuitive keyword searching for relevant literature, a controlled vocabulary was designed that functions as a screen, organizing and controlling tool against which each piece of the reviewed literature was also checked. The controlled vocabulary method of analysis yielded SET backgrounds, designs, user application and non-teaching contexts, and administrative issues. A chapter is dedicated to each of these topics. Background, process, administrative and historical analyses uncover not only the flaws of SETs, but also some compelling reasons for why these tools should nonetheless be retained, albeit with the flaws substantially remedied. The closing chapter offers a vision of - and suggests a method of investigation toward - such remedial efforts.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International