Student evaluation of faculty teaching performance is fast becoming a high-stakes game, but few are interested in measuring attributes influencing good teaching - most settle for some sort of statistical interpretation of counts.
The SFT (Student Feedback about Teaching) scheme at James Cook University in Australia is based on Rasch modelled estimates of responses to a Likert-type scale. In order to help to address a perennial question about how difficult it is to teach large classes, responses for classes smaller than N=30 were pooled, as were responses for classes larger than N=150 to generate the DIF plot above. While about half of the items located close to identically for both groups (with suitable allowance for measurement error), it was easier for students in small classes to report satisfaction with the `Interest' their teachers showed and the `Assessment Information' they provided. While teachers of large classes were reported as doing better at achieving the subject's `Aims', the largest DIF effect was for the easiest to endorse item: the teacher in the large lecture theater is much more readily seen as being an `Expert' in the field. (Disclaimer of personal interest; the author teaches classes of 450 first year teacher education students about developmental psychology.)
From: Trevor G. Bond, "Accountability in the Academy: Rasch measurement of student surveys", Survey Research in Education SIG, AERA 2002.
Does familiarity breed contempt? Bond TG. 16:1 p.859
Does familiarity breed contempt? Bond TG. Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2002, 16:1 p.859
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