No correlation between student evaluations and learning

Every year I teach much the same things in much the same way, but my student evaluations, even in different classes during the same semester, has made me suspicious of any of it. So it is interesting to come across this study with the following title: Zero Correlation Between Evaluations and Learning. It’s not that I don’t learn from reading the comments over, but my interest and theirs are not the same. I start out by knowing what I want them to know by the end of the semester, I test them on the knowledge that I want them to have and I find almost all get through. Beyond that, I’m not sure there is much anyone else should ask.

The article comes to this conclusion:

“The multisection studies do not support validity of SET ratings as measure of faculty’s teaching effectiveness. They indicate that students do not learn more from professors with higher SET ratings.”

And as for a student’s ability to judge the education they receive, it will be a long time after graduation that they will ever really know, if even then.

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