Beyond the CES

Andrea ChesterLeave a Comment

The SoEd Senior Leadership Group is supporting a 2020 student/staff project to co-design more productive ways to capture and respond to student feedback about their learning experiences.

If you would like to be involved, please let your Associate Dean know.

As a community of learners we have an opportunity to rethink the type of information we want to collect to help improve learning and how we might use this to strengthen our culture as a school that is Shaping Education, Shaping the Future. While the quality of our programs continues to be measured by the CES and CES data is used to measure teacher effectiveness for promotion, we are proposing that the SoEd pilot the collection of additional, more meaningful data.

We have often debated the value of the CES in the SoEd. The limitations of student evaluations of teaching are well documented, particularly with respect to gender and racial bias (Boring, Ottoboni, & Stark, 2016). In addition, Uttl, White and Gonzalez (2017) have noted that such ratings do not correlate with student learning. A study published just last week used computational simulation to show that even careful and judicious use of feedback like the CES implemented under ideal conditions can produce an unacceptably high error rate (Esarey & Valdes, 2020). Further challenges include low response rates, a particular issue for SoEd, due to the timing of the survey when many of our students are on placement.

I look forward to shaping this important initiative with you.


Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., & Stark, P. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research. Accessed September 12, 2019 at

Esarey, J., & Valdes, N. (2020). Unbiased, reliable, and valid student evaluations can still be unfair. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. Advanced online publication

Uttl, B., White, C.A., & Gonzalez, D.W. (2017). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 54, 22-42.

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