Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 Correlates with Student Evaluations

Interesting article in today's Inside Higher Ed:  Could Be Right?, by Scott Jaschik:

What if — the site that professors love to hate — is more accurate than they think? Or what if officially sanctioned student evaluations of faculty members — which many professors like to contrast with — are just as dubious as RateMyProfessors?

Those are questions raised by a new study by two professors at the University of Maine who compared the ratings on of 426 Maine instructors with the formal student evaluations used by the university. The results were just published in the journal Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation. The key findings are that ratings have a significant correlation with the formal student evaluations on the questions about the overall quality of the course and the relative difficulty or ease of the course.

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I was a co-author of the study you mentioned in your blog. An additional key finding was that, despite highly significant correlations, RMP would be a poor predictor of real classroom teaching aside from the very best instructors.



Irv Kornfield
Professor of Biology and Molecular Forensics
School of Marine Sciences
5751 Murray Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5751

[email protected]
tel: 207.581.2548
fax: 207.581.2537

Posted by: Irv Kornfield | Jun 10, 2007 2:45:51 PM