Thursday, October 14, 2010

Re:Course evals and learning outcomes

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post of the above title. The abstract reads:


ABSTRACT: David Eubanks of the ASSESS list, in a post "Course evals and learning outcomes" wrote (paraphrasing): "I'm creating a new course evaluation instrument that focuses entirely on learning outcomes instead of process-oriented questions such as "the syllabus accurately predicted my misery." I've posted my draft version at along with an explanation. I would love to receive critical feedback."

The following feedback might be considered but may not be loved. In "The Physics Education Reform Effort: A Possible Model for Higher Education?" [Hake (2005)] I criticized indirect gauges of student learning such as Eubanks' course evaluation in favor a direct gauge of student learning, viz., formative pre/post testing using (a) valid and consistently reliable tests devised by disciplinary experts, and (b) traditional courses as controls.

Nevertheless, I think that Eubanks' course evaluation is probably far superior to the standard "Student Evaluation of Teaching" methods that now dominate university assessment of faculty.


To access the complete 15 kB post please click on .

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University

Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands

President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)

". . . as typically used in existing studies, self reported gains or growth do not permit the same level of internal validity as does assessing gains by pretest-posttest design, where pretest and posttest estimates are based on the same instrument." - Ernest Pascarella (2001)

REFERENCES [All URL's accessed on 14 October 2010; URL's shortened by]

Hake, R.R. 2010. "Re: Course evals and learning outcomes" [Hake (2010)], online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 13 Oct 2010 12:55:51-0700 to AERA-L, ASSESS, & Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are also being transmitted to various discussion lists.

Pascarella, E. 2001. "Using student self-reported gains to estimate college impact: A cautionary tale," Journal of College Student Development 42: 488-492, online at


Anonymous said...

Do all of your posts have to be written like scholarly articles? Seriously, just...make a post. Far easier on the eyes.

Richard Hake said...

Dear Abrigade,

Thanks for the comment.

Do all of my posts have to be written like scholarly articles?

YES!! Otherwise the members of PEDARRI (PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet) would insist on my resignation as President.


Richard Hake