Student Descriptions of Instructional Characteristics as Relevant Indices of Teaching Effectiveness

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The Check-List of Instructional Characteristics (CLIC) is a student response questionnaire designed to provide university faculty with feedback concerning their instruction. The CLIC contains six factor analytically derived scales. Knowledge and Skill, Consideration, and Critical Demands refer to characteristics of the instructor. Coordination refers to the way readings, examinations, and class presentations are related. Student Involvement and Overall Satisfaction refer to student reactions. The purpose of this research was to assess the relevance of these scales to the assessment of teaching effectiveness. A model was constructed with Course Size, Course Format, Students' Initial Interest in the Course, and reported SAT as antecedents of the CLIC ratings, and Students' Outcome Interest, Self-Reported Learning Progress, and Student Course Performance as outcomes. Students' Satisfaction with the Instructor as a Teacher (Satisfaction/Teacher) and Students' Satisfaction with the Instructor as a Person (Satisfaction/Person) were assessed. Expected Grade, Grade Point Average, and reported SAT were examined as potential contaminants of the CLIC ratings. Results were analyzed for four groups of classes, 155 assorted Regular classes, 75 Math, 28 Speech, and 10 German classes. The Math, Speech, and German samples were each composed of sections of the same course, taught by different instructors, but using common student performance measurements. The following conclusions were drawn: (l) The CLIC scales, except for Consideration and Critical Demands, are related to Satisfaction/Person as a result of a common association with Satisfaction/Teacher. The relationships between Consideration and Critical Demands with outcome criteria are not contaminated by their relationships with Satisfaction/Person. (2) Reported SAT, and Grade Point Average are not related to the CLIC ratings. Expected Grade is correlated with the CLIC ratings, however, at least part of this relationship can be attributed to the relationships that expected grade and the CLIC ratings share with students' perceived Learning Progress. (3) Students' Initial Interest, Course Size, and Format may bias the level of the CLIC ratings, but do not appear to invalidate the ratings. (4) Coordination and Consideration are the instructor related scales most closely associated with Student Involvement. Furthermore, their relationships are independent of students' Initial Interest. The relationships may hold only in discussion classes. (5) Knowledge and Skill, and Student Involvement seem to be the scales most highly associated with students' Overall Satisfaction. (6) Student Involvement, Overall Satisfaction, and Consideration may be the most closely associated with Outcome Interest, after the effects of Initial Interest are removed. Knowledge and Skill, and Critical Demands also seem to have some relevance for this criterion. (7) In studying student learning as a criterion, the effects of student ability were statistically or methodologically controlled in each setting. The effects of Initial Interest were partialled out in Regular and Speech classes. None of the CLIC scales were related to the performance criterion in Speech classes. The Speech setting was the only setting in which the classes sampled were discussion sections which shared a common lecture. Instructors in the other samples were fully responsible for course presentations. Knowledge and Skill, and Overall Satisfaction were related to learning criteria in the Speech, Math, and Regular classes. In addition, Consideration, Coordination, and Student Involvement were related to learning in Math and Regular classes. The sample size restricted any generalizations from the German sample, although the correlations were in the expected directions. It is concluded that evidence was found to support the CLJC as a relevant criterion for evaluating teaching effectiveness, and that it may be useful as a guide for improving instruction. Overall Satisfaction, Knowledge and Skill, Consideration, and Student Involvement showed highly consistent relationships with the various outcome criteria.