Relationships among student evaluations, instructor effectiveness, and academic performance

Stephen D. Phipps, Robert S. Kidd, David Al. Latif


This study was conducted to evaluate the relationships among students’ grade expectations, students’ actual grades, and students’ evaluations of instructors. A total of 5399 individual student evaluations from 138 course offerings that were taught over four successive academic years were compiled and analyzed. The evaluation instrument included questions pertaining to course- and instructor-related items, as well as a question inquiring about the grade the student expected to receive in the course. Students’ grades (expected and actual) were significantly correlated with the mean instructor evaluation score ( p , 0.01 for both correlations). Also, there was a strong positive correlation (r 1⁄4 0.916) between the mean course evaluation score and the mean instructor evaluation score ( p , 0.01). Based on the results in this study, students’ expected and actual course grades appear to be an influential factor in how they evaluate instructors. Additionally, the ability of students to discriminate between course evaluations and instructor evaluations is suspect.


Instructor effectiveness, student evaluations, student grades, course evaluation

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