Panel Paper: Asking Our Customers: Instrument Validation and the Incorporation of Student Survey Feedback Into Teacher Practice

Thursday, November 8, 2012 : 1:35 PM
Salon B (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Ryan Balch, Vanderbilt University

Researchers and practitioners have sought to meet the challenge of quantifying teacher quality using several different measures of teacher performance, from observational evaluation rubrics and teacher portfolios to value-added calculations and student perception surveys. This study discusses the development and validation of a student survey of teacher effectiveness. Further, it outlines policy implications for survey implementation, including considerations for the number of students required to be confident about a teacher’s student survey rating; teachers’ incorporation of survey feedback into their teaching practice; and teachers’ views on the accuracy and usefulness of the survey results.

The current survey has undergone several rounds of validation to ensure that survey questions adequately assess various dimensions of teacher quality.  This includes a large-scale pilot conducted in the spring of 2011 in seven districts as part of Georgia’s Race To The Top initiative with more than 13,000 students and 700 teachers participating. Results suggest that that there is a positive relationship between student reports of teacher practice and students’ academic engagement as well as academic self-efficacy; and that the relationship of survey results to value-added is positive and occasionally significant, particularly in science and social studies and at the high-school level.  Further analyses reveal that not all of a teacher’s students are required to take a student survey in order to obtain an accurate estimate of a teacher’s overall average and that teachers report that student surveys are a potentially valuable source of feedback for their practice.

Full Paper: