Course Evaluation Validation Study

From: Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
Date: September 13, 2018
Re: Course Evaluation Validation Study

Under the leadership of my Office, the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) has completed a study of the University’s course evaluation framework. The study was focused on the framework’s institutional items that are intended to evaluate University-wide teaching and learning priorities from the perspective of students. The validation study examined surveys completed in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years in the University’s four largest undergraduate divisions. This study is part of ongoing quality assurance processes to monitor the institutional course evaluation framework.

Read the full report: University of Toronto’s Cascaded Course Evaluation Framework: Validation Study of the Institutional Composite Mean (ICM).

The Cascaded Course Evaluation Framework was adopted in 2012 upon the recommendation of a Provostial committee that consulted broadly with the University community. That committee identified institutional teaching and learning priorities that form the foundation of the framework’s standardized items at the institutional level. The framework continues to be implemented across the institution, with a majority of Faculties now using the online system.

The recent study, conducted and overseen by experts in education and measurement, supports the validity and reliability of the composite formed by five of the institution-level items present on all surveys in the framework. Termed the Institutional Composite Mean (ICM), the five items together provide an evaluation of students’ experiences of teaching and learning at the University of Toronto.

The study supports informed use and interpretation of the scores. The University commits to ongoing inquiry regarding student evaluation of teaching, and it is our hope that this study will foster nuanced discussion around the use of course evaluation data at the University of Toronto.