2021 Ad Hoc Committee on Student Evaluations of Teaching


Ad Hoc Committee – Student Evaluation of Teaching
(updated 04-07-21)


Formation - This committee is established in response to the 02/22/21 Faculty Senate Motion to form Ad Hoc Committee to Revise Teaching Evaluations 

Committee membership (Committee can consider forming subcommittees as needed to approach the charges)

  1. Co-chair: Senior Vice Provost - Kate Ziemer
  2. Co-chair: Faculty Senate representative - Robin Hackett
  3. Tenure-track Faculty representation from degree-granting colleges
    1. College of Engineering and Physical Science - Maurik Holtrop
    2. College of Health and Human Services - Karen Collins
    3. College of Liberal Arts - David Pillemer
    4. College of Life Sciences and Agriculture - Russ Congalton
    5. Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics - Michael Kukenberger
    6. UNH Manchester - Michaela Sabin
    7. UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law - Sophie Sparrow 
  4. CCLEAR Faculty representation
           a. Lecturer faculty - Lawrence (Larry) Beemer, Smita Lahiri, and Stephen Pimpare
             b. One clinical faculty nominated by the relevant organization
    One research faculty nominated by the relevant organization
  5.  CEITL representative
  6.  Community, Equity and Diversity representative
  7.  NECHE accreditation representative
  8.   Associate Dean / ASAC representative
  9.  Academic technology representative
  10.  Undergraduate student representative - Kylee Rock 
  11.  Graduate student representative

Committee charges

Because of the complexity of this work around student feedback on teaching (purpose, design, and implementation), it is recommended that the committee structure check-in conversations with faculty senate, the faculty union representation, and the UNH contract administrator.  

1. Provide written guidance defining the role of student surveys of teaching and learning in demonstrating teaching effectiveness for the purpose of annual reviews, renewal, promotion, and tenure decisions. How should student surveys of teaching and learning interact with other methods for evaluating teaching effectiveness (e.g. regular peer review by departmental colleagues, and specially designed departmental evaluation forms)? Consider whether guidance will apply across all faculty types (rank and title, e.g. three-year reviews for associate professors versus five-year reviews for full professors). These guidelines must agree/fit with current union contract guidelines.

            Present final report and any recommended motions for Senate action.


2. Design a new tool to replace the current Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) form.

a. Establish what the tool should assess in terms of student feedback on teaching and learning. What specific areas should be measured? What should be the balance of open-ended and closed-ended items? 

b. Make recommendations about unique circumstances that might require different evaluation considerations like courses that are co-taught and clinical and internship courses, and classes with smaller enrollments.

c. Make recommendations about the best balance between common survey questions and those that might vary by discipline, modality, venue, and program.

d. Engage survey design experts (e.g., UNH survey research center) to translate the above into a survey tool. 

             Present final report and any recommended motions for Senate action.


3. Establish implementation plan.

a.  Establish recommendations for how to engage students to increase the value of feedback, including how to reduce impact of bias when responding. 

b.  Establish recommendations for when to distribute student surveys in the course of the semester - whether to distribute student surveys once per semester at the end or twice a semester at a mid-point and end, and strategies to increase student response rates in completing surveys. These recommendations must address implementation across the different academic terms (UNH online, Summer, J-term).

c.  Establish recommendations to increase student response rate. Is there a certain response rate necessary to include student surveys in an evaluation process?

d.  Clearly define the organizational roles and resources needed to support survey implementation.

             Present final report and any recommended motions for Senate action.

Timeline for Committee

Committee should develop a timeline based on the work required but aim for a Spring 2022 launch of the new tool.  

Resources & Guidance Documents

1.  Academic Program Committee’s guidance document for this work: https://www.unh.edu/sites/default/files/departments/faculty_senate/motion_to_form_ad_hoc_committee_to_revise_teaching_evaluations_xxv_02_22_21.pdf

2.  The 2107 Report on Teaching Evaluations can be found here:  https://www.unh.edu/sites/default/files/departments/faculty_senate/faculty_senate_agenda_05_01_17_app8-2_tesc_report_1_0.pdf

3.   Survey items designed for COVID-19 evaluations can be found here:https://www.unh.edu/sites/default/files/departments/faculty_senate/motion_on_end_of_semester_survey_questions_for_ay_21_xxv_m14_11_16_20_.pdf

4.  References on bias in teaching evaluations provided by the Academic Program Committee:

J. Arbuckle and B. D. Williams. Students’ Perceptions of Expressiveness: Age and Gender Effects on Teacher Evaluations. Sex Roles, 49(November):507–516, 2003.

S. K. Bennett. Student perceptions of and expectations for male and female in-structors: Evidence relating to the question of gender bias in teaching evaluation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74(2):170–179, 1982.

S. L. Benton and W. E. Cashin. Student ratings of teaching: A summary of research and literature. IDEA Paper 50, The IDEA Center, 2012.

A. Boring. Gender biases in student evaluations of teachers. Document de travail OFCE 13, OFCE, April 2015a.

A. Boring. Can students evaluate teaching quality objectively? Le blog de l’ofce, OFCE, 2015b. URL http://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr/blog/ can-students-evaluate-teaching-quality-objectively/.

A. Boring, K. Ottoboni, and P. Stark. Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research (2016).

M. Braga, M. Paccagnella, and M. Pellizzari. Evaluating students’ evaluations of professors. Economics of Education Review, 41:71–88, 2014.

S. E. Carrell and J. E. West. Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors. Journal of Political Economy, 118(3):409– 432, June 2010. ISSN 0022-3808. doi: 10.1086/653808. URL http://www.jstor. org/stable/10.1086/653808.

J. A. Centra. Student ratings of instruction and their relationship to student learning. American educational research journal, 14(1):17–24, 1977.

J. A. Centra and N. B. Gaubatz. Is There Gender Bias in Student Evaluations of Teaching? Journal of Higher Education, 71(1):17–33, 2000. URL http://www. jstor.org/stable/10.2307/2649280.

P. B. Elmore and K. A. LaPointe. Effects of teacher sex and student sex on the evaluation of college instructors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 66(3):386– 389, 1974.

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

C. S. Galbraith, G. B. Merrill, and D. M. Kline. 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, 2012.

P. Gourley and G. Madonia (2020). The impact of tenure on faculty course evaluations, Education Economics, 10.1080/09645292.2020.1852391.

D. S. Hamermesh and A. Parker. Beauty in the classroom: Instructors pulchritude and putative pedagogical productivity. Economics of Education Review, 24(4): 369–376, 2005.

M. C. Hill and K. K. Epps. The impact of physical classroom environment on stu-dent satisfaction and student evaluation of teaching in the university environment. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 14(4):65–79, 2010.

H. A. Hornstein. Student evaluations of teaching are an inadequate assessment tool for evaluating faculty performance. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2331186X.2017.1304016?scrol...

V. E. Johnson. Grade Inflation: A Crisis in College Education. Springer-Verlag, New York, 2003.

S. W. Joye, J. H. Wilson. (2015). Professor age and gender affect student perceptions and grades. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(4):126-138.

L. MacNell, A. Driscoll, and A. N. Hunt. What’s in a name: Exposing gender bias in student ratings of teaching. Innovative Higher Education, pages 1–13, 2014.

H. W. Marsh and L. A. Roche. Making Students’ Evaluations of Teaching Effective-ness Effective. American Psychologist, 52(11):1187–1197, 1997.

D. J. Merritt. Bias, the brain, and student evaluations of teaching. St. John’s Law Review, 81(1):235–288, 2008.

P. Miles and D. House. (2015).  The tail wagging the dog; an overdue examination of student teaching evaluations. International Journal of Higher Education, 4(2):116-126.

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J. S. Pounder. Is student evaluation of teaching worthwhile?: An analytical frame-work for answering the question. Quality Assurance in Education, 15(2):178– 191, 2007. ISSN 0968-4883. doi: 10.1108/09684880710748938. URL http: //www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/09684880710748938.

T. C. Riniolo, K. C. Johnson, T. R. Sherman, and J. A. Misso. Hot or not: do professors perceived as physically attractive receive higher student evaluations? The Journal of general psychology, 133(1):19–35, Jan. 2006. ISSN 0022-1309. doi: 10.3200/GENP.133.1.19-35. URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ 16475667.

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