Evaluating the Effectiveness of Course Evaluations for Formative and Summative Instructional Improvement

Eligibility: Anyone who has been the instructor of record for a course at Miami (all campuses, including online)

Amount: Each participant will receive $500 in professional development funds

Submission: Online Application

Due Date: May 15, 2021

Purpose and Description

The purpose of this community is to 1) discuss and evaluate the use of student evaluations of teaching (course evaluations) within the context of instructional response and teaching improvements at Miami, and 2) discuss and evaluate the extent to which bias can exist in the use of traditional course evaluation instruments. Discussions and deliverables will be guided by the following questions:

  • To what extent do course evaluations at Miami support improved instruction and student learning?
  • In what ways can course evaluations support improved instruction and student learning at Miami?
  • To what extent does bias exist and how does that impact the validity of course evaluations for formative and summative evaluations of teaching?
  • What are course evaluations measuring at Miami?


  • Members will review existing literature on how to effectively utilize course evaluations for instructional improvement. 
  • Members will contribute to the writing of a web-based (Center for Teaching Excellence-hosted) resource to support instructional improvement at Miami. 
  • Members will review existing literature on the potential sources of bias in traditional course evaluations.
  • Members will design a survey to be issued to the Miami community in January 2022 to gain insight into what instructors perceive course evaluations to be measuring and how effectively they evaluate student learning gains. The data will then be evaluated during the Spring 2022 semester. 
  • Members will review what alternatives exist to the current structure and implementation of the CollegeNet course evaluations, currently issued at Miami. With this, members will review which alternatives to evaluating teaching are currently being implemented at other institutions of higher education. 
  • Members will have the opportunity to meet with an external speaker who can contribute to the discussion of alternative approaches to measuring teaching effectiveness and student learning, and how these can be used to support instructional improvement at Miami. 
  • Members will be expected to attend FLC meetings every 3 weeks. 


  • Kevin Ballard, Kinesiology and Health
  • Angela Curl, Family Science & Social Work
  • Saruna Ghimire, Sociology and Gerontology
  • Maria Gonzalez, Biology
  • Yvette Harris, Psychology
  • James Johnson, Entrepreneurship
  • Claire McLeod, Geology & Environmental Earth Science; Facilitator
  • Karen Meyers, Finance
  • Sherrill Sellers, College of Education, Health & Society