Student Ratings of Instruction Not the Best Gauge of Learning

Measuring Learning: The Ultimate Teaching Evaluation

Student evaluations of faculty have been around for decades, but never before have they carried so much weight, or been so divisive. The use of student evaluations for faculty review can be problematic because student ratings aren’t the best measures of student learning. What’s more, when careers depend on student satisfaction, many may feel compelled to keep students happy, rather than ensure academic rigor.

Do you ever wonder what’s more important – educating your students or producing satisfied customers?

When student ratings are the sole measurement of teaching assessment, many faculty start to wonder.

Order a copy of Measuring Learning: The Ultimate Teaching Evaluation, and learn about Dr. Linda B. Nilson’s approach to measuring educator effectiveness based on what really counts: student learning. Dr. Nilson is the founding director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University, and author of Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors, now in its third edition (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

What You’ll Learn
Stressing the importance of measuring student learning and aggregating the results, Dr. Nilson shows you:

  • How to adapt tests and instruments to serve as evidence of students’ learning
  • How to give this evidence a number, so others can use it easily
  • How to submit this evidence for faculty review, to balance student ratings.

Different Methods for Different Disciplines
During the online video seminar, you’ll learn measures of student learning you can tailor to your subject matter and course level, such as the following end-of-course measurements:

  • Integrative essay or journal entry
  • Targeted essay questions
  • Survey of students’ perceived learning.

Tests for the beginning and end of your course include:

  • A first, ungraded assignment, later corrected for a grade
  • Giving your final the first week of class (ungraded), repeating it at the end of the session for a grade, and comparing results
  • Surveying students’ confidence about knowledge of course material.

You’ll also receive sample documents and additional resources with in-depth recommendations.

When you order the recording on CD, you also receive a copy of the transcript, all for the same price as attending the seminar live.

An optional Campus Access License is available for an additional $200. It allows the purchasing institution to upload the CD of the seminar onto the institution’s password-protected internal web site for unlimited access by members of the campus community.

Who Will Benefit:
Measuring Learning: The Ultimate Teaching Evaluation, is an intermediate level seminar and will help all higher education faculty members interested in improving assessment of teaching effectiveness. In addition, deans, provosts, academic vice presidents and department chairs who evaluate their faculty’s teaching effectiveness will find this seminar invaluable.

All seminars include a discussion guide for facilitators
Participating in a Magna Online Seminar as a team can help leverage unique insights, foster collaboration, and build momentum for change. Each seminar now includes a Discussion Guide for Facilitators which provides step-by-step instructions for generating productive discussions and thoughtful reflection. You’ll also get guidelines for continuing the conversation after the event, implementing the strategies discussed, and creating a feedback loop for sharing best practices and challenges.


If you have any questions contact Customer Service at 800-433-0499 or (608) 246-3590 or email us at

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