Posted: April 6th, 2016
Making decisions about large, complex engineered systems can be very difficult. Suppose that the University of Gnomon leadership (like the Dean of the College of Engineering or the Provost) asked for help in measuring the quality of instruction from professors in the classroom. Currently the University does end-of-course surveys from students, asking questions about the class. The thought here is that if the student feels like he/she has really learned a lot from the class, then the survey results should indicate that and should therefore be relatively correlated to quality instruction from the teacher. However, remember that correlation doesn’t always mean causation, so student surveys could be misleading. For example, if I never graded homework, gave group tests, graded easily, and gave everyone an “A,” then I may get outstanding reviews on the survey. But in reality, many of you may not have learned a thing in the class. But overall, though, surveys are probably relatively reflective of quality instruction. Explain two other ways you think the University of Dayton could measure the quality of instruction from professors in the classroom. Discuss some pros and cons associated with your measurement, and explain why you think these would help University leadership make better decisions about teachers and classes.
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