OVERCOMING STUDENTS’ LETHARGY IN EVALUATING LECTURERS’ TEACHING COMPETENCE: COVENANT UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE
What is not inspected should hardly be expected. Worldwide, the indispensable role of regular evaluation in experiencing continuous growth and development has been established. Considering the pivotal role of students in any education system, it is imperative they are involved in Lecturers’ evaluation exercise. Ironically, many students hardly take this exercise seriously. Consequently the core objective for this study was to find effective but empirical ways of helping students overcome the lethargy in evaluating Lecturers’ competence, such that a more reliable and valid feedback can be obtained that would be useful in improving Lecturers’ competence. Series of interviews were conducted to decipher the reason for this lethargy. A quick expert review of the previous Covenant University Lecturers’ evaluation form, for content validity was made. Guided by current findings on the rudiments of effective teaching and learning, the draft of a new evaluation form, tagged Lecturer’s Competence Evaluation Form – Student’s Version [LCEF-SV], was developed. Based on current findings on indicators of effective Lecturers, the LCEF-SV was partitioned into 11 sections, namely: Subject Mastery; Human Relations; Communicative Skill; Pedagogical Skill; Class Control/Students’ Management; Time Management/Absenteeism; Learning Materials; Testing and Evaluation Skill; Record Keeping & Organizational Skill; Originality, Creativity and Innovation; and ICT and Technology Usage. At the end of the instrument, the respondents were requested to summarize their perception of the Lecturer’s competence and comment on any other issue not addressed in the form. Each section is comprised of two to eight prompts/items. Adopting a participatory research approach, a special review team comprising of students from 100, 200, 300 and 400 levels, female and male lecturers, and representatives of university management edited the draft copy of the LCEF-SV for face validity. The outcome of this exercise was further subjected to critical review by a certified Psychometrician, thus establishing its content validity. The reviewed LCEF-SV was then programmed and posted on the school website for test-run with representatives from all departments in the university. The feedback from this test run further served to improve the quality of the LCEF-SV. Campus-wide sensitization forum was also held before the entire student body responded to the LCEF-SV. The final validation strategy applied was triangulation. This involved Managements’ covert and overt observations of Lecturers in situ. This conglomeration of evaluation approaches furnished deeper insights into respective Lecturer’s overall competence and served as more reliable information for feedback and remediation. Plans are also underway to give students appropriate feedback. The overall result showed that the primary objective for this project was achieved. From comparison of students’ responses to the previous and current evaluation form, it was quite apparent that the lassie-faire attitude of Covenant University students towards evaluating Lecturers’ competence has, to a large extent, been overcome.