Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

A Psychometric Evaluation of Two Teaching Effectiveness Scales

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

A Psychometric Evaluation of Two Teaching Effectiveness Scales

Article excerpt

Abstract

The call for teaching accountability in higher education initiated teaching effectiveness research and its scales development. Attention in many institutions of higher learning has been diverted recently to the improvement of teaching performance as another way besides academic research to promote the higher institutions. The diversity of attention is a response to external calls for accountability in teaching as a result of the under-estimation of the significance of the teaching process compared to research activities. As research on teaching effectiveness has increased, so has the number of different measures of teaching effectiveness. Hence, in this article, the researchers examined the psychometric properties of two teaching effectiveness scales, namely the Marsh Student Evaluation of Educational Quality (1987) and Mahfooz Ansari and Mustafa Achoui Ansari Teaching Feedback Survey (2000) in terms of their factorial and construct validity. A total of 1504 3rd and 4th year and postgraduate students were selected from four renowned Malaysian public Universities, namely USIM, UM, UPM and IIUM. The study found that although the two scales were constructed to assess teaching effectiveness in higher institutions, the Marsh scale was extensively used in the literature and more comprehensive in relation to the numbers of factors. The study found that although there is room for improvement for both scales, the Marsh's scale is psychometrically more sound, and theoretically more comprehensive than Ansari and Ansari's scale.

Keywords: teaching effectiveness scale, psychometric properties, confirmatory factor analysis, Principal Component Analysis (PCA)

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1. Introduction

The widespread demand from both institutional authorities and stakeholders for greater accountability in higher education has sparked research on what constitutes teaching effectiveness. These demands, coupled with those of the quality improvement movement, have resulted in a need for valid, reliable and comparable performance data on teaching quality. Recently, higher institutions of learning all over the world have begun adopting evaluation systems to promote their academic standards and the quality of the experience learned during the students' life. Historically, this kind of evaluation is normally carried out by the authorities of the higher institutions. However, due to the significance of students' experience and assessment ability, the institutions of higher learning are involving students' assessments in policy design.

In Malaysia, the authorities and the stakeholders are asking institutions of higher learning to promote the students' learning experience and accountability. The accountability of an institution of higher learning would not be accomplished or completed without direct comments from students on their experience and their evaluation of the teaching qualities of that particular higher institution. The students' evaluations are not intended to penalize the instructors but rather to improve the process of teaching and learning since the meaningful interpretation of evaluation is judging the worth or merit of something (Worthen et al., 1997). Research has suggested that 22% and 20% of University Sains Malaysia (USM) students had negative perceptions of their lecturers' ability to comment on their work and give helpful feedback on how students are doing, respectively (Sarjik Kuar, 2003)

The findings indicated that there is a portion of students in some of the Malaysian institutions of higher learning who are not totally satisfied with the performance of their instructors and the quality of the teaching experience they are receiving from their respective institutions. The teacher evaluation system should, therefore, be rooted in two broad purposes: (1) it should be outcome-oriented, (2) it should be improvement oriented. According to Colby, Bradshaw and Joyner (2002), evaluation is used generally for the purpose of instructional improvement and evidence of accountability which are consequently believed to have positive effects upon academic performance, teachers' instructional improvement and the overall image of the institution. …

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