Relying on Student Surveys: New Innovations and New Challenges in Measuring Teacher Quality and Student Skills
Saturday, November 14, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Jasmine (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Panel Organizers: Collin E. Hitt, University of Arkansas
Panel Chairs: Matthew Steinberg, University of Pennsylvania
Discussants: Katy Mazz, The New Teacher Project
In recent years, researchers, policymakers and educators have shown an increased interest in measuring student perceptions, of both classroom quality and students’ own individual non-cognitive skills. This trend towards relying on student surveys is driven by two key factors.
First, a mounting body of evidence from across disciplines demonstrates the importance of non-cognitive skills--such as persistence, conscientiousness, and self-regulation—for student academic and long-term success (Almlund et al., 2011; Borghans et al., 2008; Duckworth & Carlson, 2013; Moffitt et al., 2011; Poropat, 2011). Researchers have, in large part, relied on student survey-based tools to assess these skills.
Second, the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project research team found that student survey-based measures of a teacher’s effectiveness were not only predictive of his or her standardized test-based value-added, but had higher reliability across classrooms than either value-added or classroom observation scores (Kane, 2012).
Despite the potential benefits of student survey tools, a number of important questions remain regarding how best to measure student perceptions and non-cognitive skills, whether student survey tools have value as formative vs. evaluative assessments, and whether these tools allow for comparisons across diverse contexts (West, Kraft, Finn, Martin, Duckworth, Gabrieli & Gabrieli, 2014). This panel seeks to tackle these lingering questions, to draw lessons regarding promising measurement approaches, and to identify additional unresolved questions for future research regarding the measurement and improvement of students’ perceptions of schools and students’ non-cognitive skills.