Top 10 Flashpoints in Student Ratings and the Evaluation of Teaching
What Faculty and Administrators Must Know to Protect Themselves in Employment Decisions

Paper: 978 1 57922 981 8 / $19.95
Published: March 2013  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 980 1 / $95.00
Published: March 2013  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 982 5 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: September 2013  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 983 2 / $15.99
Published: September 2013  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
136 pp., 6" x 9"
“Another book on student ratings? Are you kidding me?” “Nope, but this one is REALLY different.”

Another review of the research or step-by-step on how to develop and interpret rating scales? NOT! (Berk did that with Thirteen Strategies)

Designed to solve YOUR problems, conflicts, and confusion about how to evaluate teaching. Written expressly for YOU with Berk’s signature sense of humor.

FLASHPOINT: a critical stage in a process, trouble spot, contentious issue, volatile hot button, or lowest temperature at which a flammable liquid will give off enough vapor to ignite

The “flashpoints” covered are the topics that pop up the most frequently and heatedly on listservs, blogs, and the literature.

Each flashpoint is defined succinctly, options are presented, and then evidence-based recommendations for concrete action steps are proffered in an effort to stop the popping.
The recommendations are grounded in psychometric, professional, and legal standards. The last-named, in particular, can protect you from costly litigation.

If you hire, promote, demote, and fire full- and part-time faculty based on student ratings and other measures, then you are vulnerable to violations of federal anti-discrimination laws. Several flashpoints address procedures you can take to stay out of court.

If you are a faculty member, you need to know whether your institution’s measures of teaching are appropriate and defensible, and what you should do if they are not.

Four sample “flashpoints” and solutions:
• Use of global items for summative decisions. SOLUTION: “Cease & desist” and use scale and subscale ratings
• Low response rate in online administrations. SOLUTION: 20 strategies to increase rates
• Scales to evaluate online and blended/hybrid courses. SOLUTION: 7 strategies are suggested and evaluated
• Use of ratings for contract renewal, pay raise, teaching awards, and promotion and tenure. SOLUTION: Applying 80/20 rule for adverse impact to avoid lawsuits related to unequal pay, gender, race, ethnicity, and age discrimination

Table of Contents:

Fractured, Semi-Factual History of Student Ratings of Teaching
A Parody

Flashpoint Terminology
Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) vs. Student Rating Scale

Flashpoint 1
Student Ratings vs. Multiple Sources of Evidence

Flashpoint 2
Sources of Evidence vs. Decisions: Which Come First?

Flashpoint 3
Quality of “Home-Grown” Rating Scales vs. Commercially-Developed Scales

Flashpoint 4
Paper-and-Pencil vs. Online Scale Administration

Flashpoint 5
Standardized vs. Unstandardized Online Scale Administration

Flashpoint 6
Low Online Administration Response Rates

Flashpoint 7
Global Items vs. Total Scale Rating

Flashpoint 8
Scoring “Neutral,” “Not Applicable,” “Not Observed,” and “Blank” Answers

Flashpoint 9
Criterion-Referenced vs. Norm-Referenced Rating Interpretations

Flashpoint 10
Face-to-Face vs. Online Course Rating Scales

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