Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor's Name

Leonard B. Bliss

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Benjamin Baez

Third Advisor's Name

Thomas Reio

Fourth Advisor's Name

M. O. Thirunarayanan

Keywords

faculty evaluation, instructor evaluation, online course evaluation, online teaching, instructor effectiveness, student evaluations of teaching, instructor ratings

Date of Defense

4-1-2011

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to (a) develop an evaluation instrument capable of rating students' perceptions of the instructional quality of an online course and the instructor’s performance, and (b) validate the proposed instrument with a study conducted at a major public university. The instrument was based upon the Seven Principles of Good Practice for Undergraduate Education (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). The study examined four specific questions.

1. Is the underlying factor structure of the new instrument consistent with Chickering and Gamson's Seven Principles?

2. Is the factor structure of the new instrument invariant for male and female students?

3. Are the scores on the new instrument related students’ expected grades?

4. Are the scores on the new instrument related to the students' perceived course workload?

The instrument was designed to measure students’ levels of satisfaction with their instruction, and also gathered information concerning the students’ sex, the expected grade in the course, and the students’ perceptions of the amount of work required by the course. A cluster sample consisting of an array of online courses across the disciplines yielded a total 297 students who responded to the online survey. The students for each course selected were asked to rate their instructors with the newly developed instrument.

Question 1 was answered using exploratory factor analysis, and yielded a factor structure similar to the Seven Principles.

Question 2 was answered by separately factor-analyzing the responses of male and female students and comparing the factor structures. The resulting factor structures for men and women were different. However, 14 items could be realigned under five factors that paralleled some of the Seven Principles. When the scores of only those 14 items were entered in two principal components factor analyses using only men and only women, respectively and restricting the factor structure to five factors, the factor structures were the same for men and women.

A weak positive relationship between students’ expected grades and their scores on the instrument was found (Question 3). There was no relationship between students’ perceived workloads for the course and their scores on the instrument (Question 4).

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