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Distinguishing between Good (Useful) and Bad Workloads on Students' Evaluations of Teaching

Herbert W. Marsh
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 38, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), pp. 183-212
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3202518
Page Count: 30
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Distinguishing between Good (Useful) and Bad Workloads on Students' Evaluations of Teaching
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Abstract

Multidimensional students' evaluations of teaching (SETs), Workload, Grades, Perceived Learning, and background variables were evaluated with confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) of previously published data (Greenwald, A. G., & Gillmore, G. M., Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 743-751, 1997b). Competing CFA models demonstrated multiple SET dimensions like those identified in previous research (Marsh, H. W., International Journal of Educational Research, 11, 253 (3), 1987) and two nearly uncorrelated Workload factors. Good Workload (valuable in advancing education) had substantial positive effects on SETs and Perceived Learning, whereas the effects of Bad Workload were negative. SETs had nonlinear relations with Good Workload (the positive Good Workload-SET correlation became smaller for higher Workloads) and Grades (the positive grade-SET correlation became smaller for higher grades). The positive grade-SET correlation was completely eliminated by controlling for Good and Bad Workloads and other background variables. In contrast to misguided suggestions that teachers can improve SETs by decreasing Workload (at the likely expense of effective teaching), these results show that SETs and teaching effectiveness can both be improved by increasing Good Workload and decreasing Bad Workload.

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