STEM faculty use independent analytics to supplement student evals
- Researchers at Oregon State University surveyed more than 75 STEM faculty members and administrators in large research institutions and found that most professors are using independent data-gathering to inform their teaching practices, in addition to end-of-term evaluations.
- Student evaluations, they said, tend to come late and have too small a participation number to accurately guide teacher performance or effectiveness.
- Professors understand the value of data-driven results in the effort to retain students in STEM majors, which without best practices, stand to lose high numbers of students through drop-outs.
Deans and provosts should adopt more data-driven evaluations to accompany student feedback, particularly since the technology is present with modules for adaptive learning, which can measure engagement and performance almost in real-time. But beyond the outcomes for students, faculty whose careers may be tied to such evaluations would also benefit from impartial data in the effort to secure tenure and promotion, which can be a challenge even with favorable marks from students.
As colleges seek to reduce costs and increase student enrollment and retention, giving faculty more clarity on how their methods and mentoring impacts institutional outcomes strengthens departments and provides clarity on how teaching is a destiny that can be shaped by in-class merit, along with publishing and outreach.
- Oregon State University Lacking other meaningful data, university faculty devise their own teaching evaluation systems