Course/instructor evaluation : perspectives of part-time graduate students
Brown, Carolyn J.
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This study explored 6 part-time graduate students' perspectives on course/instructor evaluation. The purpose was to explore whether a link exists between the evaluation for course and instructors as contained in the Faculty of Education courselinstructor evaluation form and the needs of part-time students enrolled in that program. The literature review provided contextual information concerning the 3 main subject areas based upon which the research questions were designed: learner needs in the context of part-time graduate students, courselinstructor eval~ation, and the potential lack of congruency between the 2. Using a semistructured interview process, participants identified criteria important or relevant to the evaluation process and incongruent with the course/instructor evaluation form. A qualitative research methodology using a grounded theory approach contributed to the theory on the nature of course evaluation instruments in a graduate program and addressed the notion of where power was situated within the evaluation process. Findings suggested that the concepts of relevance and the instructor's role that participants identified as important in their graduate learning experience were congruent with what they considered important components of the course/instructor evaluation form. Participants noted a lack of congruency between their expectations of a quality graduate learning experience and the format, content, intent, and timing of the evaluation process. The study confirmed that students did want a voice in the evaluation of their learning experience at both the course and program levels.