Challenging Misconceptions About Student Ratings of Instruction
Data from student ratings of instruction (SRI) are used ubiquitously as a key element in providing instructors with valuable feedback and evaluators with critical student input. Nonetheless, calls for the elimination of SRI continue to appear in academic journals and higher education periodicals. This paper brings to bear the huge body of research on SRI to which so many academics and institutions have contributed. Some of the most egregiously erroneous statements about SRI are rebutted with brief reviews of the readily available compelling evidence. Although some faculty frustrations about misuse of SRI are valid, we argue that inclusion of student voice is critical. Students can provide useful feedback because they have firsthand experience over multiple occasions of what actually occurred in the classroom. Recommendations are made for best practices in using SRI as one of many sources for improving and evaluating teaching.