student evaluation of teachers, student ratings, teacher assessment in higher education, teaching effectiveness, community college faculty


The purposes of this research were to: (a) assess community college students' perceptions of the student evaluation practice; (b) assess community college faculty members' responses to student evaluations of teachers and the extent to which instructional modifications resulted from student ratings; and (c) assess community college administrators' responses to student evaluations of teachers, the extent student ratings influenced administrators' evaluations of faculty, and how the results from student ratings were used to promote instructional effectiveness. A total of 358 students, faculty, and administrators from 5 Florida community colleges contributed their opinions on the value of the practice of student evaluation of teaching. Data were collected using mixed methodology. The survey and interview sessions were conducted on location at the respective community colleges. Descriptive statistics, correlation and regression procedures, one-way analysis of variance, t-test, and phenomenological analysis were used to analyze the data. Quantitative results indicated that these 320 community college students believed that student ratings had value, and, thus their role as instructor evaluator was important. Furthermore, the students believed student evaluations were important to faculty and administrators. However, most students were either unaware or did not believe that student evaluations had any effect. Phenomenological analysis of the extensive descriptions provided by 21 faculty participants suggested that the numeric data provided by student evaluations was generally an ineffective method to impact instruction. Faculty described their frustration with inadequately designed instruments, ineffective methods of receiving ratings results, and limited or non-existent feedback from supervisors. Phenomenological analysis of the 17 administrators' transcriptions suggested that although the student ratings practice was vital to institutional integrity the results from student evaluations were marginally valuable in their impact on enhancing instruction and of limited value in faculty evaluation. Implications for student evaluation practices drawn from this study included the need for institutions to: (a) assess the value of their student evaluation practice and its impact on teaching effectiveness; (b) define and clearly articulate a statement of purpose for conducting student evaluations; (c) refine procedures for administering the student evaluation practice; (d) examine their student evaluation practices and instrument on a regular review cycle; (e) adopt alternative methods for collecting and disseminating student feedback; (f) implement student evaluation measures that reflect the varied teaching approaches and diverse learning environments.


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Graduation Date





Bozeman, William


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership








Release Date

August 2005

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)