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Giannamore Critique 5

Page history last edited by Kathleen Giannamore 6 years, 7 months ago Saved with comment

A longitudinal investigation of the impact of faculty reflective

practices on students’ evaluations of teaching

Tiffany M. Winchester and Maxwell K. Winchester



These researchers are seeking to further the research on studies of faculty reflective practice. As the researcher states – in the past there had been little empirical evidence that faculty reflective practice improves teaching quality.  This study takes the research a step further by looking at the effects of faculty who engage in higher levels of reflection through reported reflective practice with formative student evaluations of teaching (SETs) on changes to summative SETs. Additionally the study attempted to test the hypothesis that feedback –specifically electronic feedback without counseling will not result in reflection.

The study was done in three phases, the first being the development of a quantitative formative weekly evaluation. Second, qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with faculty members in order to investigate their use of the evaluation instrument and their reflection on the results. Third, consideration was given as to whether or not those faculty who were deemed to reflect at higher levels actually achieved higher ratings on the SET’s.

After a 2-year period, results indicated that teachers who did engage in reflective practice based on electronic feedback, did in fact see greater results in their SETs in consecutive evaluation periods.

On the question of electronic feedback without counseling – it was determined that this hypothesis was not correct and that technology can be useful in providing evaluative information to faculty for further reflection.



There were some limitations which may have affected these study results such as faculty were generally inexperienced (4 years of teaching or less), class sizes were small and the study was done at just one university which makes the results less than ideal for generalization.  There was also an underlying assumption here that improvements in SET results indicate improvement of teaching quality, which may or may not be the case.  Additionally, the improvement in quality was attributed to the reflective practice. However, the fact that teachers were inexperienced represents a confounding variable that may likely account for the fact that teaching quality improved.

Another major problem was a certain result that occurred in that the greatest rise in SET scores occurred for a faculty member who had actually been reflecting at the lowest possible level.  This could be an anomaly or it could potentially be an indicator of some other underlying factor.

Though the study did seem to be conducted well, it would need to be repeated among other universities with a more diversely experienced faculty in order to deem the results as generalizable and also to eliminate the confounding variable of inexperience.

Winchester, T., M., & Winchester, M. K. (2014). A longitudinal investigation of the impact of faculty reflective practices on students’ evaluations of teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(1), 112–124.



Comments (1)

Chip Ingram said

at 11:10 am on Oct 18, 2016

Although there still could have been some more detail here, especially in describing the study, this one is definitely closer to a complete critique.

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