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





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


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.


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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