What are the benefits to evaluating an instructional course? Why is evaluation of a course important? What types of information might you use in that evaluation process? Do you consider one source of information more important than another? Why or why not?Hello and welcome to Brain Mass! There are many benefits to evaluating an instructional course; for example, evaluation produces feedback that is useful for determining what works in the course and what needs to be improved. It is also used to measure the quality of instruction to be sure that the instructor is doing his/her job and that students are benefitting from the instruction being provided. Course evaluations are important because it allows instructors to review how others interpret their course and their teaching effectiveness. It also helps administrators make summative decision about promotions, tenure, salaries, pay raises, as well as recommendations, as to what needs to be improved. The type of information generally used in an evaluation includes general questions about the course itself, including instructor communication skills, instructor enthusiasm, flexibility of instruction, attitudes of instructor/students, student interaction, knowledge of the subject and clarity of the instruction, course difficulty, course fairness, grading and exams, and overall student ratings. Although evaluations should be done at least twice during a semester, I would consider a summative evaluation to be a more important source of information, simply because it was given to students at the end of their learning experience and contains their personal reflection of the course. Since the evaluation is confidential, students can honestly fill out the evaluation without fear of repercussion or loss of grades. This allows for honest feedback, which can be used in constructive ways to improve instruction and the course. During the semester, students may be more worried about receiving a poor grade if they provide honest feedback. This way, since it is at the end of the semester and completely confidential, students can be free to say what needs to be said. I hope this helps! Thank you for using Brain Mass today. Reference:
Carrell, S. E., & West, J. E. (2010). Does professor quality matter? Evidence from random assignment of students to professors. Journal of Political Economy, 118(3), 409-432.
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