Methods and Purposes for Conducting Students' Course Evaluations Reported by North American Dental School and Dental Hygiene Program Leaders: A Preliminary Survey Study.J Dent Educ. 2018 Mar; 82(3):286-290.JD
The aim of this preliminary survey study was to determine the perceptions of leaders of dental schools and dental hygiene programs regarding methods of and purposes for conducting students' course evaluations and their role in course improvement, curriculum design, and faculty assessment. A short electronic survey was distributed in 2016 to the academic deans of all 76 dental schools in the U.S. and Canada and a convenience sample of program directors of 232 of the total 332 accredited dental hygiene programs. Individuals from 93 institutions responded for an overall response rate of 30%: 30 of 76 dental schools (39.5% response rate) and 63 of the 232 dental hygiene programs (27% response rate). All of the respondents (100%) reported that their institutions' full-time faculty members were assessed by students in course evaluations for each course and semester they taught. However, only 78% reported that their part-time faculty members were evaluated by students. Course evaluations were mandatory in 62% (n=58) of the responding institutions, with the remaining 38% (n=35) optional. Respondents indicated course directors received the evaluation results for purposes of annual review (n=73, 78%) and instructional review (n=70, 75%). Further investigation of the use and effects of student evaluations is needed to better understand their role in faculty assessment and other aspects of the administration of dental schools and dental hygiene programs.