Date of this Version
Objectives: Student evaluation of individual teachers is important in the quality improvement cycle. The aim of this study was to explore medical student and faculty perceptions of teacher evaluation in the light of dwindling participation in online evaluations. Methods: This study was conducted at the United Arab Emirates University College of Medicine & Health Sciences between September 2010 and June 2011. A 21-item questionnaire was used to investigate learner and faculty perceptions of teacher evaluation in terms of purpose, etiquette, confidentiality and outcome on a five-point Likert scale. Results: The questionnaire was completed by 54% of faculty and 23% of students. Faculty and students generally concurred that teachers should be evaluated by students but believed that the purpose of the evaluation should be explained. Despite acknowledging the confidentiality of online evaluation, faculty members were less sure that they would not recognise individual comments. While students perceived that the culture allowed objective evaluation, faculty members were less convinced. Although teachers claimed to take evaluation seriously, with Medical Sciences faculty members in particular indicating that they changed their teaching as a result of feedback, students were unsure whether teachers responded to feedback. Conclusion: Despite agreement on the value of evaluation, differences between faculty and student perceptions emerged in terms of confidentiality and whether evaluation led to improved practice. Educating both teachers and learners regarding the purpose of evaluation as a transparent process for quality improvement is imperative.
This document has been peer reviewed.