Student Evaluation of Teaching

Online Resources

Student Evaluation of Teaching: Has It Made a Difference? (pdf)
Harry Murray, The University of Western Ontario
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Charlottetown , Prince Edward Island , June 2005

Countering Common Misbeliefs about Student Evaluation of Teaching
Robert Boice, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Essays on Teaching Excellence, A Publication of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Education

Student Course Evaluations: Research, Models and Trends
Pamela Gravestock and Emily Gregor-Greenleaf, University of Toronto

Report for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Summaries from symposium on “Valid Faculty Evaluation Data: Are there any?
AERA Annual Meeting, Montreal, CA, April 14, 2005

  • Critical issues in faculty evaluation: valid data and the validity of practice (Michael Scriven, Western Michigan University)
  • Using Teacher Ratings Forms to Evaluate Teaching: Doing a Better Job with What We’ve Got (Phillip C. Abrami, Concordia University)
  • A Fractal Thinker Looks at Student Evaluations (Edward Nuhfer, Idaho State University)
  • Validity, Research, and Reality: Student Ratings of Instruction at the Crossroads (Jennifer Franklin, University of Arizona)
  • Validity, like Beauty is… (Raoul A. Arreola, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis)


Abrami, P, d’Apollonia, S. (1997). The dimensionality of student ratings of instruction: what we know and what we do not. In R. P. Perry and J. C. Smart (eds.), Effective Teaching in Higher Education: Research and Practice. New York: Agathon Press.

Marsh, H. W. (1987). Students evaluations of university teaching: Research findings, methodological issues, and directions for future research. International Journal of Educational Research , 11, 253-388

Murray, H. G. (1997). Does evaluation of teaching lead to improvement of teaching?. International Journal for Academic Development, 2(1), 8-23.

Abstract: Given the widespread use of student evaluation of teaching in North American colleges and universities, it is reasonable to ask whether student evaluation has accomplished one of its major intended outcomes, namely improvement of instructional quality. A review of research evidence from three independent sources (faculty surveys, field experiments and longitudinal comparisons) suggests that student evaluation does in fact contribute significantly to improvement of certain aspects of university teaching, particularly if evaluation is supplemented by expert consultation. Furthermore, there is no clear evidence that student evaluation has led to undesirable instructional side-effects, such as grade inflation and entrenchment of traditional teaching methods.


Arreola, R. A. (2007). Developing a comprehensive faculty evaluation system (3nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Berk, R. A. (2006). Thirteen strategies to measure college teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Knapper, C. and Cranton, P. (Eds). (2001). Fresh approaches to the evaluation of teaching (New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 88). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.