Aspects of Teaching

Summary of the Importance of Various Aspects of Teaching Based on Student Ratings

High Importance

  • Clarity and understandableness
  • Teacher’s stimulation of interest in the course and its perceived subject matter
  • Perceived outcome or impact of instruction
  • Teacher’s preparation: Organization of the course
  • Teacher pursued and/or met course objectives
  • Teacher motivates students to do their best—high standard of performance required

Moderate Importance

  • Clarity of course objectives and requirements
  • Teacher’s sensitivity to, and concern with, class level and progress
  • Teacher’s encouragement of questions and discussions, and openness to opinions of others
  • Intellectual challenge and encouragement of independent thought
  • Teacher’s elocutionary skills
  • Teacher’s knowledge of the subject
  • Teacher’s enthusiasm for the subject
  • Teacher’s availability and helpfulness

Moderate-to –Low Importance

  • Teacher’s fairness/Impartiality of evaluation of students/Quality of examinations
  • Teacher’s concern and respect for students: Friendliness of teacher
  • Classroom management
  • Personality characteristics (“personality”) of the teacher
  • Pleasantness of classroom atmosphere

Low Importance or No Importance

  • Nature and value of the course (including its usefulness and relevance)
  • Nature, quality, and frequency of feedback from the teacher to the student
  • Nature and usefulness of supplementary materials and teaching aids
  • Difficulty of the course and workload

Feldman, Kenneth A. “Identifying Exemplary Teachers and Teaching: Evidence from Student Ratings.” In

                R. P. Perry and J. C. Smart (Eds). Higher Education: An Evidence-Based Perspective. New York:    Springer, 2007. 93-129.