What does it mean to students that teachers "help them to learn"?

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36367/ntqr.15.2022.e760

Keywords:

Teaching quality , Higher education, Teacher evaluation, Student perceptions, Teaching practice

Abstract

For a number of years, teacher evaluation has been carried out by means of self-administered questionnaires in which students assess their teachers by means of more or less closed questions. One question that has been found to be highly predictive of overall satisfaction with every teacher is often worded as "this teacher helps me to learn", but what does this phrase means? To find out about this, a qualitative research study was carried out with more than 600 explanations, based on data collected from a population of university students enrolled in Bachelor's and Master's degrees. The 95% of the texts came from students who had participated in the quantitative teaching assessment at least one time. The analysed texts were of very different lengths, ranging from 7 to 365 words. They were categorised according to whether they referred to high or low evaluation, and the most frequently used words were extracted. The results show that different verbs and nouns are used to explain the meaning of the quantitative ratings given. In this context, concepts such as "explain", "understand/comprehend", "practice", "motivate", "care about the students” or "answer questions" are the most relevant. In addition, preliminary analyses also show differences in responses in relation to gender, level of studies and the area of study of the degrees being pursued. Age also seems to be of some relevance. These findings can be used not only to improve the interpretation of quantitative data from teacher evaluation surveys, but also to make broader proposals for improvement.

References

Almeida, L. S. (2019). Ensino Superior: Combinando exigências e apoios. In L. S. Almeida (Ed.), Estudantes do Ensino Superior: Desafios e oportunidades (pp. 17–33). ADIPSIEDUC.

Beecham, R. (2009). Teaching quality and student satisfaction: Nexus or simulacrum? London Review of Education, 7, 135–146. https://doi.org/10.1080/14748460902990336

Berk, R. A., Naumann, P. L., & Appling. S. E. (2004). Beyond student ratings: Peer observation of classroom and clinical teaching. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 1(1), 1– 26. https://doi.org/10.2202/1548-923x.1024

Clayson, D. E. (2009). Student evaluations of teaching: Are they related to what students learn? Journal of Marketing Education, 31(1), 16-30. DOI:10.1177/0273475308324086

EUA - European University Association (2021). Universities without walls: A vision for 2030. Brussels: European University Association. Disponible en: https://eua.eu/resources/publications/957:universities-without-walls-%25E2%2580%2593-eua%25E2%2580%2599s-vision-for-europe%25E2%2580%2599s-universities-in-2030.html

Fan, Y., Shepherd, L. J., Slavich, E., Waters, D., Stone, M., Abel, R., et al. (2019). Gender and cultural bias in student evaluations: Why representation matters. PLoS ONE, 14(2), e0209749. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.

pone.0209749

Flanigan, A. E., & Kiewra, K. A. (2018). What college instructors can do about student cyber-slacking. Educational Psychology Review, 30(2), 585-597. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-017-9418-2

Galbraith, C. S., Merrill, G. B., & Kline, D. M. (2012). Are student evaluations of teaching effectiveness valid for measuring student learning outcomes in business related classes? A neural network and bayesian analyses. Research in Higher Education, 53(3), 353–374. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-011-9229-0

González, J. M., & Wagenaar, R. (Coords.) (2008). Tuning Educational Structures in Europe. Universities’ Contribution to the Bologna Process. An Introduction. Publicaciones de la Universidad de Deusto. Disponible en: https://www.unideusto.org/tuningeu/documents.html

Hornstein, H. A. (2017). Student evaluations of teaching are an inadequate assessment tool for evaluating faculty performance. Cogent Education, 4(1), 1304016. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2017.1304016

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2014). Constructive controversy as a means of teaching citizens how to engage in political discourse. Policy Futures in Education, 12(3), 417-430. https://doi.org/10.2304/pfie.2014.12.3.417

Kyndt, E., Raes, E., Lismont, B., Timmers, F., Cascallar, E., & Dochy, F. (2013). A meta-analysis of the effects of face-to-face cooperative learning. Do recent studies falsify or verify earlier findings? Educational Research Review, 10, 133–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2013.02.002

LERU - League of European Research Universities (2021). Concerns and recommendations on the use of student satisfaction in measuring teaching quality. LERU Office. Disponible en: https://www.leru.org/publications/statement-concerns-and-recommendations-on-the-use-of-student-satisfaction-in-measuring-teaching-quality

Morais, N., Almeida, L. S., & Montenegro, M. I. (2006). Percepções do ensino pelos alunos: Uma proposta de instrumento para o Ensino Superior. Análise Psicológica, 1(XXIV): 73-86. https://doi.org/10.14417/ap.155

OCDE - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2019). Review of higher education, research and innovation: Portugal. Disponible en: https://www.oecd.org/portugal/oecd-review-of-higher-education-research-and-innovation-portugal-9789264308138-en.htm

Risso, A. (Coord) (2005). Informe Evaluación Docente 2003-2004. Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de A Coruña. Disponible en: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330995076_Informe_Evaluacion_Docente

_2003-2004

Sandoval, M., Simón, C., & Echeita, G. (2020). ¿Qué me ayuda a aprender y participar?: Herramientas para recoger las voces de los estudiantes. Revista de Educación Inclusiva, 13(1), 12-27. https://revistaeducacioninclusiva.es/index.php/REI/article/view/567

Seldin, P.,Miller, E., & Seldin, C. (2010). Teaching portfolio: A practical guide to improved faculty performance and promotion/tenure decisions (4th ed.). Willey.

Spooren, P., Brockx, B., & Mortelmans, D. (2013). On the validity of student evaluation of teaching: the state of the art. Review of Educational Research, 83(4), 598-642. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654313496870

Stark, Ph. B., & Freishtat, R. (2014). An evaluation of course evaluations. ScienceOpen Research. https://doi.org/10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EDU.AOFRQA.v1

Vieira, F. (2014). Para uma mudança profunda da qualidade da pedagogia na universidade. Revista de Docencia Universitária, 12(2), 23-39. https://doi.org/10.4995/redu.2014.5638

Xu, B., Chen, N.-S., & Chen, G. (2020). Effects of teacher role on student engagement in WeChat-Based online discussion learning. Computers & Education, 157, p. 103956. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2020.103956

Published

2022-12-30

How to Cite

Risso, A., & Almeida, L. (2022). What does it mean to students that teachers "help them to learn"?. New Trends in Qualitative Research, 15, e760. https://doi.org/10.36367/ntqr.15.2022.e760