This study focuses on the ratings college students give for their teachers. In order to understand the ratings given for teachers, the study sought characteristics that were “associated” with the ratings. Due to existing research, the study focused on five specific characteristics: “class size, course level, the ‘electivity’ of the course, the particular subject matter of the course, and the time of day that the course is held.”
The associations draw from the study are reported to be moderate or not very strong. The teacher ratings were often higher for upper division courses and elective courses. Additionally, professors in the areas of humanities, fine arts, and languages also tended to receive higher ratings than others.
According to the study, there are many explanations for the relationships made between ratings and professors. Studies in which controlled studies are relevant are fewer than those that only have “zero-order” relationships between characteristics and ratings. This means that the relationships aren’t dependent on one variable or another.
In my evaluation of the study, classes that offer more freedom tend to receive higher ratings. Electives are more likely to receive better ratings because the students are able to choose the course as opposed to it being required. Upper division courses I would assume have older students with more knowledge about what they are learning. Therefore, a respectable rating for a course would not be strange.
Feldman, Kenneth A. “Course Characteristics and College Students’ Ratings of Their Teachers: What We Know and What We Don’t.” Link.springer.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2016. <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00976997>.