Online Student Ratings of Instruction

By D. Lynn Sorenson; Trav D. Johnson | Go to book overview

4
Psychometric Properties of Student
Ratings of Instruction in Online and
on-Campus Courses

This study compares mean ratings, inter-rater
reliabilities, and the factor structure of items for online
and paper student-rating forms from the University of
Washington's Instructional Assessment System.

Debbie E. McGhee, Nana Lowell

Higher education has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of online courses and programs and an increase in the frequency with which online components are incorporated into on-campus courses (Lewis, Snow, Farris, and Levin, 1999; Green, 2001). These trends have led to the development of online systems for the collection of student ratings of instruction. Such systems offer the advantage of being easily integrated into normal online-course operations, just as traditional paper-based ratings have been integrated into traditional courses by being administered during a class period. Although there is extensive literature on the properties of student ratings collected in traditional classroom settings (for example, Cohen, 1981; Feldman, 1989; d'Apollonia and Abrami, 1997; Greenwald and Gillmore, 1997; Marsh and Roche, 1997), comparable information regarding student ratings of online courses is not widely available.

To date, few systematic studies have been done of student reactions to online courses versus traditional classroom courses. Knight, Ridley, and Davies (1998) reported that students in online sections reported putting more effort and more time into online course work than their classroom peers; yet, student satisfaction was comparable across modes. Spooner, Jordan, Algozzine, and Spooner (1999) reported that students in online and classroom courses gave similar ratings of course and instructional quality. In two studies wherein the same instructor taught both in-class and online sections of the same course, Waschull (2001) found that students who either voluntarily enrolled or were randomly assigned to an

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