Previous studies of student evaluations as a means of assessing instructors have concentrated on undergraduate courses taught in departments whose primary effort was apparently dedicated to teaching. However, this scenario is not an accurate reflection of many programs in colleges of agriculture where professional responsibilities are divided among teaching (primarily graduate courses), research and extension. For example, the entomology faculty at Louisiana State University has 7 percent of its professional effort allocated to teaching. At the same time, a recent departmental review with the Cooperative State Research Service indicated that the teaching effectiveness is a matter of concern for both faculty and students. This attention to teaching appears to be concomitant with national, state, and institutional concerns about the quality of university teaching. The only objective measure of teaching available in the LSU entomology department has been the course evaluation. As with many land-grant institutions, LSU tends to base tenure and promotion decisions on research and has, in general, neglected interpretations of teaching evaluations. In addition, the teaching evaluations have apparently never been compiled for the entomology department, and correlations and trends have never been considered. This study examined six years of course evaluations in order to determine trends in teaching and examine possible correlations of the evaluations.
evaluations, student characteristics, professor characteristics