Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations
A major feature of BORN TO LEARN: A TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS OF HUMAN LEARNING is its analysis of the significance and importance of classroom layouts, teaching methods, and testing methods used by teachers of all kinds in all environments, parents in homes, teachers in schools, managers in businesses, Sunday School teachers in churches, and others.
If you are someone with the responsibility of teaching others—a parent, a school teacher, a manager, a preacher, a leader of a civic club, a fraternity or sorority, or some sort of military organization—you should read this book.
Because it might help you do a better job of teaching yourself and others and gain more satisfaction from the process.
The most important lessons in life are not lessons memorized in school; they are messages learned about how to live life so as to enjoy life.
The more you can teach people, your children, perhaps, how to do this the more successful you will be as a teacher.
Born to Learn points out an obvious fact: We are all born to learn. And we will learn, no matter how good or poor our teachers are or what we learn. The question is, what will the learning cause us to do?
Born to Learn is based on clinical observations and research conducted by Eric Berne, MD, the founder of transactional analysis, a psychiatrist, and millions of people have used his findings since the early 1960s to help themselves and others learn better messages for getting on with the business of surviving and winning in the world, often under unfair and treacherous conditions.
To learn how to teach people, including yourself, better messages for getting on in the world click here.
I wrote and published a short piece I called Appendix I at the back of Born to Learn recommending readers read our (Stapleton & Murkison) article “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations: A Study of Correlations Between Instructor Excellence, Study Production, Learning Production, and Expected Grades,” published in the Journal of Management Education in 2001 by the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society. The JME is printed and published by Sage Publications, a major publisher of academic materials. I pointed out in Appendix I “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by 2019 been cited in 72 refereed professional journal articles in several academic disciplines, proving the article has been read and used by serious researchers and educators as a guide for evaluating teaching productivity.
I told readers in Appendix I of Born to Learn they could access a free PDF copy of “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” by clicking on this web address, http://www.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf.
I decided today (July 11, 2016) to add another page to our Effective Learning Company website called Games Educators Play on which I re-published a case “Games Educators Play” I published in Business Voyages, another book I wrote offered for sale on the Effective Learning Publications page of this website, which covers in some detail the research, reasoning, findings, substantiations, and recommendations in Appendix I of Born to Learn, including a recommendation that academic departments and schools use a CITP, a Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity, to evaluate teachers. The CITP is a metric I invented that measures the productivity of a teacher by weighting equally instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and relative expected grades as variables taken from computerized student evaluation forms used for evaluating teachers.
“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” is thirty-three pages long and contains numerous exhibits, charts, graphs, diagrams, statistical significance tests, correlation coefficients, and the like substantiating the findings. The article provides hard evidence, proof some say, that teachers can in some cases increase their student evaluation scores and their merit raises by lowering the requirements and grading standards of their courses, by dumbing them down and teaching to easy tests.
Using a CITP, a Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity, in the department or school will eliminate this possibility and optimize fairness for all teachers in the department or school. Most teachers are just like most people in any vocation or profession. They like to be recognized for doing a good job and want to be fairly rewarded based on their relative productivity and contributions. The CITP will insure this happens.
Read the Games Educators Play page on this website now to see how the CITP works and why it should be used.
These issues are discussed to some degree in all my books offered for sale on this website on the Effective Learning Publications page. Business Voyages covers the CITP in more detail than Born to Learn or Recommendations for Waking Up From the America Nightmare. On the other hand, Born to Learn provides a more comprehensive coverage of transactional analysis (TA) concepts and techniques, showing how they apply to specifics such as teaching methods, classroom layouts, testing and grading methods, student motivation, classroom management, and learning contracts.
Check out “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and effective grades,” by Stapleton & Murkison, published in 2001 in the Journal of Management Education, by the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, using Sage Publications. This article presents a new metric, the CITP, the Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity, which has now been cited in sixty-one refereed professional journal articles in several disciplines, from physics to psychology.
Published in 2001 by the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society in the Journal of Management Education, “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” shows how difficult it is to fairly evaluate teaching and learning and why relative expected grades questions should always be included on student evaluation forms to provide a modicum of fairness.
The major recommendation of Optimizing Fairness is the Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity, CITP, the fairest and most sophisticated metric for estimating teaching productivity I have seen. Please note the key word here: Production.
What do productive teachers produce? Learning. The CITP entails students estimating their relative learning in the course, caused not only by what the teacher told them in class but by how much time they spent studying for the course, which they also estimate. The CITP gives teachers credit for being interesting speakers and entertainers, fair, interesting, etc., by requiring students to estimate the relative instructor excellence of the teacher. Students are also required to estimate the relative grade they expect in the course. The CITP is an equally weighted average of ranks of teachers for four variables, instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades. A teacher’s CITP score will give a teacher a relatively accurate idea of his or her relative production of learning for merit raises and tenure and promotion decisions.
The 72 citations of Optimizing Fairness in the student evaluation professional literature, some in the last few years, one this year, proves the analysis and recommendations of the article have been seriously used by serious educators. To verify the citations just punch Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations into any search engine and read the numbers for yourself.
Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations gets to the heart of intractable problems of the teaching profession, the most serious of which is probably teacher evaluations. How can you or a teacher know how well a teacher is doing his/her job? What sort of criteria can you use for making this judgment? Certainly the purpose of teaching is to cause learning to occur in students, but how do you measure this? What kind of learning? How much learning? How much learning relative to what? What percentage of a prescribed content or syllabus a teacher causes students to memorize? Or how much learning a teacher produces in students relative to how much peer teachers produce? In other words are you attempting to measure absolute learning or relative learning?
Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations presents a unique Composite Indicator of Teaching Productivity (CITP), one of the most sophisticated metrics of teaching productivity yet developed in the teacher evaluation literature.
Check it out at