Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Major Professor

James Eison, Ph.D.

Keywords

Faculty evaluations, Surveys, Effectiveness, Ratings, Attitudes

Abstract

Numerous efforts to assess teaching excellence have been attempted, but systematic research has produced limited results at best. This study expanded upon recent studies focusing on how students' perceptions and attitudes can be used to identify the best course environments and the qualities of teaching excellence. This is especially critical considering that most previous empirical research has been conducted at the university level, while community colleges have been mostly overlooked. Thus, little is know about community college students' perceptions of teaching excellence. To assess their views of teaching excellence, a questionnaire was given to students from one community college to identify the underlying factors that are most central to teaching excellence (research question one). While some of the perceptions of community college students were similar to perceptions documented previously with university students, some perceptual differences were revealed. Co

nfirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to evaluate the goodness of fit when used with community college students of the eight original dimensions representing the factor structure similar to that of Herbert Marsh's SEEQ (research question two). For research question three, a second confirmatory factor analysis was employed to assess goodness of fit using the modified 12-dimension version of the survey instrument. The CFA suggested at least a marginal or reasonable fit of the two proposed factor models with community college students. Finally, based on inconsistent findings of previous research, a fourth research question investigated whether demographic factors influence students' perceptions of courses and teaching excellence. A multiple regression analysis of six demographic variables suggested that five variables (e.g., Age, Gender, Ethnicity, Reason for Attendance, Employment and Semester Hours completed) had some impact as to how students respond to certain items that make up

the 12 teaching excellence dimensions. The R2 values representing the teaching excellence dimensions ranged from .01 to .034. While many of dimensions had demographic predictor variables that were shown to be statistically significant, as effect sizes were small the practical significance of the results is probably minimal at best. A discussion of the results, limitations, implications for future practice and research are discussed in Chapter Five of this study.

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