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Title: Effective college teaching and students’ ratings of teachers : what students think, what faculty believe, and what actual ratings show : implications for policy and practice in teaching quality assurance and control in higher education in Oman
Author: Al-Hinai, Nasser Said
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 2312
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2011
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This study examines the extent to which teachers’ (N=248) and students’ (N=968) perceptions of effective teaching and students’ evaluations of teachers in six colleges of technology in Oman match or mismatch. It also investigates Omani students’ (N=922) ability to identify the teaching dimensions underlying a widely used American instrument used for collecting students’ evaluations of teachers and the extent to which the teaching dimensions found in Oman are similar to or different from those found in America and elsewhere in the West. In addition, the present research assesses the reliability of students’ ratings in Oman and the effect of a number of course, teacher, and student background characteristics on these ratings. Results showed that while teachers and students matched in their perceptions of various characteristics of effective teaching, they significantly differed in their valuation of many criteria of effective teaching. Differences were also observed between the two groups’ perceptions of the validity and utility of students’ ratings and the role of the student as an evaluator of teaching. The results also showed that Omani students are capable of identifying most of the teaching dimensions underlying the standardised American rating instrument. A few factors, however, appear to be inseparable in the Omani context. The inter-rater reliability of students’ ratings collected from Oman was analysed and found to be of good standard and only slightly lower than what was found in North America and Australia for the same instrument. Consistent with previous research, it appears, however, that students’ ratings are affected by various student, teacher, and course background characteristics. The evidence on the differences between teachers and students in their perceptions of quality college teaching and their criteria for judging teaching effectiveness calls for more investigation and verification. It is argued here that many of the mismatches in perceptions can be traced to students’ educational upbringing in pre-college education. Therefore, the assumption that quality can be improved in higher education irrespective of what learning styles and habits students bring with them from schools may be unrealistic. Contrary to the prevailing stance in Oman’s higher education, which generally views students’ ratings with distrust and suspicion, the present study results appear to provide preliminary support for the use of students’ ratings in Oman’s universities and colleges as a source of information in teaching evaluation and improvement. It is argued that involving students in the evaluation of teaching is an essential tool in implementing, institutionalising, and enhancing the newly introduced standards in teaching and learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available