We analyzed over 100,000 student evaluations of instruction over four years in the college of business at a major public university. We found that the original instrument that was validated about 20 years ago is still valid, with factor analysis showing that the six underlying dimensions used in the instrument remained relatively intact. Also, we found that the relative importance of those six factors in the overall assessment of instruction changed over the past two decades, reflecting changes in the expectations of the current millennial generation of students. The results were consistent across four subgroups studied – Undergraduate Core, Undergraduate Non-Core, Graduate Core and Graduate Non-Core classes, with minor differences. Student Motivation (the instructor’s ability to motivate students) and grading/assignments (fairness and objectivity of grading practices) have superseded presentation ability in relative importance as indicators of overall teaching effectiveness. Our study has implications for teachers in terms of the appropriate areas to focus on for improving their teaching practices.
Nargundkar, S. & Shrikhande, M. (2012). An Empirical Investigation of Student Evaluations of Instruction—The Relative Importance of Factors. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education 10(1), 117-135. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4609.2011.00328.x