What is the most important factor affecting Professors evaluation by students?

Document Type: Short Communication

Authors

1 Prosthodontics Department, Dental Faculty,Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Dental materials research center, Health research institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to identify differences and similarities in teachers' and students’ viewpoints about the factors affecting this evaluation.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 70 teachers and 148 students (34.86 % females and 65.13 males) of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences were selected by convenience sampling. Data were gathered using a questionnaire which included demographic characteristics of teachers and students, separately. For comparing opinions of teachers and students in four general factors, mean and standard deviation were calculated.
Results: There was no significant difference between the mean score of students' and teachers' viewpoints considering factors related to teachers' individual - personality characteristics and theoretical - clinical conditions of education . But a significant difference was observed between their mean score regarding factors related to practical course and educational activities .
Conclusion: According to results, teacher's educational activities were considered the most effective factors.
Keywords: University Teacher Evaluation, Teaching Evaluation, Teaching

Keywords


Introduction:

Education is one of the main tasks of universities. Teachers are key components of the effective training process. Evaluation is a process that examines the skills of teachers (1).

The evaluation has a great advantage, including determining the value, merit and importance of an educational phenomenon accomplished in order to judge and decide for establishing a training program and continuing, modifying, validating, and understanding the different aspects of a curriculum (2). Judging teachers is obtained from self-evaluation by teachers, feedback from colleagues, and test of experts’ capabilities (3).

Some other experts believe that teacher evaluation methods include using the expert peer observations, review of teaching portfolios, check the exam questions and student scores, and the use of students’ comments in previous years that all of these items are considered as detailed studies of teacher evaluation (4). Data collected from a learners’ survey is commonly used in the evaluation of higher education; however, this data is affected by the students' perspectives. If they were part of the data used for faculty members, they could be useful for judgment (3).

In the field of teaching skills, the highest priority of teachers and students were scientific expertise and motivation, and participation of students in the curriculum respectively (5).

One of the main teacher evaluation methods that can be the predominant and highly debated method in our country is evaluation of students' perspectives (6). The university professors’ rating must be carried out with the help of students. The rating forms must be given to all students, not a sample of them and the highest scores should be respectively allocated to the scientific and teaching quality, and the instructor behavior in order to prevent students from rating the faculty only considering their personal characteristics (7).

Systematic review of articles presented at internal seminars from 1979 until 2011 showed that professors' satisfaction from the results of evaluation generally was 47/8 percent and the effect of their feedback was 71/2 percent. Most professors' satisfaction was from the time of evaluation (by the mean 65/5%), and also most of them prefer EDC as the evaluator center. The mean scores of professors’ evaluation by self-evaluation were higher than of students’ evaluation (8). Evaluating teachers by students is performed using questionnaire survey in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences for several years, but the faculty members were not satisfied with this evaluation. In most studies in this field, checking the comments on the evaluation forms and factors effecting the evaluation have been less attended. Therefore, understanding teachers’ and students’ similarities and differences about effective factors on teachers’ evaluation by students can acquaint education professionals with students’ and teachers’ perspectives, provide proper planning, modify the evaluation forms, and obtain the actual outcomes of professors’ performance.

This study aimed to compare the attitudes of students and teachers about the factors influencing student evaluation of teacher in dental students of dental faculty of Tabriz university.

Methods

This cross-sectional study was done with both teachers and students of dental faculty of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. Due to low numbers, all 70 professors and 148 students were chosen as the study sample.

Only dental school students and professors who wanted to collaborate were included in the project. Data collection was performed using a questionnaire (8) including demographic characteristics of teachers and students separately, factors associated with individual–personality characteristics of teachers (17 items), educational activities of teachers (32 items), factors associated with some of the theoretical–clinical aspects of education (23 items), and factors associated with practical course (10 items). Answers were based on three-point Likert scale (high, medium, low) with a scoring scale of one to three. The validity and reliability of questionnaire were assessed in standard ways. The inclusion criteria for this study were willing to participate in the study, being a formal student of the faculty of Dentistry, and completing at least one semester course with the corresponding teacher. The incomplete questionnaires were excluded from the study. Questionnaires were distributed among teachers and students by the researcher.

Data was analyzed using SPSS software (version 21). To achieve descriptive aims for each questions, frequency of high, medium, and low scores were calculated and questions with high score answers more than 75% frequency were characterized. In other words, to identify the effective factors on the evaluation, frequency of equal of more than 75% for high responses were cutting line.

In order to compare teachers’ and students’ opinion in four general investigated factors, the mean and standard deviation were calculated and T-test (in normal distribution) and Mann-Whitney test (in case of non-normal distribution) were used.

Also the relationship between the four factors mentioned in professors and students groups were assessed by Pearson correlation coefficient. In this study, P values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results:

Most of the attending teachers were assistant professors (54.3 %) and they were male (66.7 %). Their age was between 30-51 years old with average teaching experience 10 to14 years. The researcher tried to inter students equally from different levels. The attending students were between 19 to 43 years old (62.2 % were male). According to the depicted data in fig. 1, students' views about the factors influencing teacher evaluation by students are as follows:

If the scores of individual–personality characteristics of teachers were higher than 34, educational activities 64, theoretical–clinical aspects of education 20, and practical course 46 (i.e., the mean of all responses are in average scores), the students’ perspective in relation to the related factor is appropriated. According to fig. 1, all evaluated factors are appropriated. Evaluating results showed that the score of individual-personality characteristics of teachers in students’ view is 43.14, the score of teacher’s educational activities is 83.28, the score of theoretical–clinical conditions of education is 25.75, and the score of factors associated with the practical course is 58.03.

Teachers' views about the factors influencing the teacher evaluation by students is shown in fig 1.

The score of master individual–personality characteristics of teachers is 43.14. The score of educational activities is 78.91. The score of theoretical–clinical conditions of education is 26.29 and the score of practical course is 54.57. This means that the teachers' perspective in relation to related factor is appropriated.

According to the comparison between the teachers’ and students’ viewpoints, the results of Mann-Whitney test are represented in table below:

There is not any significant difference between their perspectives about individual- personality characteristics (P>0.05) and theoretical–clinical conditions of education (P > 0.05).

But a significant difference was observed between their mean score regarding factors related to practical course and educational activities. The standpoints of dental students regarding teachers’ educational activities (m = 83.28 vs. m = 78.91) (P <0.05) and practical course (m = 58.03 vs. m = 54.57) (P <0.05) were more suitable than teachers. According to results, teacher's educational activities were considered as the most effective factors.

Figure 1. Factors effecting the teachers’ evaluation by students

Table 1. Comparison of teachers’ and students’ evaluation scores in relation to factors affecting the teachers’ evaluation

Factors

Group

Number

Mean

Z

P value

Individual-personality characteristics of teacher

Student

148

110.42

-0.314

0.753

Teacher

70

107.56

Educational activities of teacher

Student

148

113.83

-2.475

0.04

Teacher

70

100.43

Theoretical– clinical conditions

of education

Student

148

105.13

-1.5

0.134

Teacher

70

118.74

factors associated with practical

course

Student

148

119.09

-3.269

0.001

Teacher

70

89.23

 

Discussion

The results of the current study showed that teachers and students have similar opinions about the two factors of master individual-personality characteristics and theoretical–clinical conditions of education. In relation to educational activities of teachers and factors associated with practical course, student’s evaluation scores were significantly more than those of teachers. In other words, dental students considered these factors more effective than teachers in their evaluation.

In a similar study conducted by Aliasgharpour’s et al, a significant difference was observed between their mean score in factors related to practical course. However, in contrast to the current study, the students’ scores were lower than teachers’. That is to say, their students did not consider effectiveness of this factor on teachers’ evaluation (8).

The result of Norhidayahet.al study showed that four factors were important for evaluation: teachers’ attempt to teach and explain course materials better, demographic characteristics of professors, using new scientific materials, and personality balance of professor (9). In the current research, educational activities and individual-personality characteristics of teachers were also the most important evaluation criteria.

There was no significant difference between the mean score of students' and teachers' viewpoints considering factors related to teachers' individual-personality characteristics and theoretical-clinical conditions of education. Comments were the same and in high level; however, a significant difference was observed between their mean score regarding factors related to practical course and educational activities.

According to the results of the present study, teacher's educational activities were considered as the most effective factors.

This finding is similar to the results of a study done by Hain about the impact of communication skills on students’ attitudes toward the learning experience in higher education (10).

As other studies in this field, some students and professors were reluctant to fill out the questionnaires, so it limited our study data.

Evaluation by students can be a valuable criterion of teachers’ performance and is an effective way to improve it. However, it should be noted that considering factors unrelated to teaching skills in teachers’ evaluation by students is very important. It is necessary that before distributing the questionnaires, the purpose of the evaluation be described to the students. In addition, teachers’ evaluation by students should be used in combination with other methods, including peer and self-evaluation procedures.

Ethical considerations 

Ethical issues (Including plagiarism, informed consent, misconduct, data fabrication and/or                    falsification, double publication and/or submission, redundancy, etc.) have been completely observed by the authors.

Acknowledgments: We extend our gratitude to Miss. Haji Hasani for doing the statistical analysis of this study, also students and teachers of medical science of Tabriz University who helped us collect data with offering their viewpoints.

Financial Support: This study was a part of research project (Thesis No: 1368) which was supported by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.

Conflict of interest: We declare no conflict of interest.

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