A Case Study: The Impact of a New Student Evaluation Instrument Designed to Measure Perceived Teacher Effectiveness at a Large Christian High School

C. David Balik, Gardner-Webb University


This dissertation addresses an important missing component in many teacher evaluation systems at the high school level: student feedback. The literature indicates that current teacher evaluation methods are seriously flawed. This system is dependent upon typically untrained evaluators who are lacking time, expertise, and available resources necessary to accomplish the task. In addition, most current teacher evaluations serve only a summative function and have little effect or actual impact on teacher improvement. Many researchers recommend use of such sources and methods that can give more adequate feedback of teaching performance that will lead to instructional improvement. Student evaluations of teaching are by no means the only solution for the current evaluation systems. They are, however, one possible and strong alternative source of information that will provide teachers unique feedback regarding instruction.

The writer developed a new Student Feedback Survey (SFS) and administered it to almost 600 students at a large Christian High School. Thirty teachers were chosen randomly for the study which was conducted in two main parts: a presurvey followed by discussion with each teacher regarding their student's feedback, perceived areas for improvement, and strategies to assist them in their performance. A postsurvey was given 3 months later to allow for a comparison of results which demonstrated whether areas deemed to have been rated the lowest on their presurvey were, in fact, perceived to have been improved upon in the eyes of their students. In addition, teachers were given a separate, anonymous survey that gauged their impressions regarding the usefulness of student feedback, the effect-if any-it had on their teaching, and how they viewed the process as a whole.

An analysis of the data revealed overwhelming acceptance of student feedback, its legitimacy and its benefits instructionally on the part of the teachers involved. The majority of teachers also revealed that they have modified lesson plans, and altered their instructional strategies as a result of the feedback from their students in an effort to enhance instructional delivery as well as to increase student learning. This was further supported by a comparison of pre and postsurvey results from the Student Feedback Survey.