Student ratings of professors and courses are relatively easy to administer and are used rather extensively in college and university classrooms throughout the United Stated and Canada. Because results of student ratings are frequently used in making personnel decisions, such as retention, tenure, promotion and merit evaluations, professors have a legitimate concern that the information be valid and reliable. Questions have also been raised about the effects of certain course and instructor characteristics on student ratings. The purpose of this article is to summarize the conclusions of reports from the literature regarding validity and reliability of student ratings. This investigation was conducted in conjunction with an eight year study of the effects of several student characteristics on student ratings of the instructor in an introductory course in animal science at Southwest Missouri State University. The results of that study will be reported in a subsequent article.



ratings of professors, ratings of courses

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