Teaching Effectiveness is NEGATIVELY Associated With Student Evaluations

That is a partial quote from an important new paper by Philip B. Stark and Richard Freishtat.  Here is a more complete version of the quote.

These experiments found that teaching effectiveness, as measured by subsequent performance and career success, is negatively associated with [student evaluations]. (from page 12)

This paper is important – especially for parents and students – because it is written in a non-technical manner and because it helps laypeople understand better how some university administrators market bad teaching in the guise of the exact opposite – good teaching.

This paper should make a difference in how faculty are evaluated, but I doubt that it will.  That is because most universities don’t care about teaching effectivenessThey only care about immediate student satisfaction even when that is detrimental to learning.  Until it is in their interest to care about student learning, little will change.  (See my A Tale Out of School for a glaring instance of this attitude.)




  1. SSPHDtofinance says:

    I think it is different when actual training is more important (e.g. coaches in sports, instruction in the military, theater/dance directors, etc.). This is not to say that being harsh is the only way to get things done–not to say that it is wrong either, lot of ways to skin the cat.

    I actually like a professor that is provocative. Think Paper Chase. Find it entertaining.

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