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Appears in:
Pages: 4117-4129
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

THE CHALLENGE OF TEACHING EVALUATIONS: THE MATURITY OF LEARNING ORGANISATIONS

P. Halloran

Prince Sultan University (SAUDI ARABIA)
It has been reported that student and peer evaluations not only function as quality enhancing tools for the institution, but can also perform an integral role in a teacher’s professional development. However, there are still questions regarding the substance of some teacher evaluations, particularly if evaluation criteria are based on institutional and student variables, not actual teacher effectiveness in teaching. Secondly, distortions in the results can emerge if attention is not given to biases that may exist. For example, the teacher whose personality and style are observable in terms of motivating behaviours and presenting caring and empathic support of students, may not influence students perceptions of the teacher as an effective educator. Likewise, the impact of a teacher’s engaging or entertaining presentation style on student’s learning but may convince students of effective teaching practices being conducted. Lastly, if new and innovative teaching practices are introduced to the organisation, how effectively does the organisation as a whole adopt and sustain these practices.
The research presented here focuses on participant observation of three evaluation practices in three international Universities. Each institution employing student evaluation of teaching (SET), peer evaluation of teaching and student comments gathered through interviews and informal feedback. Discussion of each evaluation approach from each of the international perspectives includes common problems, concerns raised from the evaluations and potential improvements. As Biggs (2003) advises, we also need to be assured that the institutions align their objectives of quality teaching with an agenda of delivering higher education, through proper incentive and reward systems that are both transparent and practical. Unless there is alignment of the institutions goals with evaluation objectives, it seems that teacher observations will continue to create misunderstandings and confusion as to their worth and value. The concern raised here is that when various forms of evaluation are not triangulated and coordinated together, each on their own may well be taken out of context in understanding teacher effectiveness and consequently, value of student learning. As Donnelly (2007) suggests: as evaluations are a sensitive and personal process, it is important to have agreed and decipherable objectives in regards what types of improvement are being sought. Otherwise, the various forms of observation and evaluation performed may present a fractured and distorted view of the overall teaching approach employed. As such, all teaching observation programs need to be reviewed as part of an overall quality assurance process that evaluates their effectiveness. That is; the evaluation program itself needs to be evaluated from a quality perspective, to provide assurance the outcomes are aligned with the goals and objectives of the initiative. The research proposes a maturity model for teaching evaluations that can assess and rate (the organisation) through a range of measurement criteria exhibited including: formal establishment of the evaluation process[es], ongoing management of the process, extent of resources allocated, improvement measures undertaken for optimisation, and enculturation into the organisation.
@InProceedings{HALLORAN2009THE,
author = {Halloran, P.},
title = {THE CHALLENGE OF TEACHING EVALUATIONS: THE MATURITY OF LEARNING ORGANISATIONS},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4117-4129}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Halloran
TI - THE CHALLENGE OF TEACHING EVALUATIONS: THE MATURITY OF LEARNING ORGANISATIONS
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 4117
EP - 4129
ER -
P. Halloran (2009) THE CHALLENGE OF TEACHING EVALUATIONS: THE MATURITY OF LEARNING ORGANISATIONS, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 4117-4129.
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