1st Edition

A Comprehensive Critique of Student Evaluation of Teaching Critical Perspectives on Validity, Reliability, and Impartiality

By Dennis E. Clayson Copyright 2021
    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    This thought-provoking volume offers comprehensive analysis of contemporary research and literature on student evaluation of teaching (SET) in Higher Education.

    In evaluating data from fields including education, psychology, engineering, science, and business, this volume critically engages with the assumption that SET is a reliable and valid measure of effective teaching. Clayson navigates a range of cultural, social, and era-related factors including gender, grades, personality, student honesty, and halo effects to consider how these may impact on the accuracy and impartiality of student evaluations. Ultimately, he posits a “popularity hypothesis”, asserting that above all, SET measures instructor likability. While controversial, the hypothesis powerfully and persuasively draws on extensive and divergent literature to offer new and salient insights regarding the growing and potentially misleading phenomenon of SET.

    This topical and transdisciplinary book will be of great interest to researchers, faculty, and administrators in the fields of higher education management, administration, teaching and learning.

    Chapter 1: Issues and Debates Surrounding Student Evaluations of Teaching

    Chapter 2: Potential Impacts of Gender Bias on Student Evaluations

    Chapter 3: The Influence of Personality Traits on Student Evaluations

    Chapter 4: Halo Effects Impacting on Student Evaluations

    Chapter 5: Questioning the Truthfulness of Student Evaluations

    Chapter 6: Rigor, Grades and how they Impact on Student Evaluations

    Chapter 7: The Association between Student Learning and Student Evaluations

    Chapter 8: Student Evaluations and the Improvement of Instruction

    Chapter 9: Challenging the Statistical Reliability of Student Evaluations

    Chapter 10: Traditional Validity and SET

    Chapter 11: Identifying Valid Applications of SET

    Chapter 12: Validity and the Impacts of Subjectivity

    Chapter 13: Introducing a Likability Hypothesis

    Chapter 14: Justifications of the Likability Hypothesis

    Chapter 15: Conclusion and Recommendations – the Future of SET


    Dennis Clayson is Professor Emeritus in the College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa, US.