Perceptions of teaching, teaching practices and effectiveness of supplemental instruction leaders and selected students at a Research I institution



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Texas A&M University


This study examined students?? and Supplemental Instruction leaders?? perceptions of teaching, teaching practices, and faculty teaching effectiveness. This study also examined the impact of the SI leader??s role on those perceptions and subsequent behaviors on end-of-course evaluations and sought to determine whether differences existed between the two groups in order to determine whether or not SI leaders?? perceptions should be included in a comprehensive evaluation system. A purposive sample of 17 SI leaders, who had been employed during the spring 2002 semester and returned for the fall 2002 semester, and 17 students, who had attended at least 10 SI sessions during the fall 2002 semester, were selected to participate in this study.Data for the study were collected through individual interviews using a protocol designed to collect their perceptions regarding the following: 1) definitions of teaching and its activities; 2) descriptions of good and bad teaching or good and bad teachers; 3) definitions and descriptions of faculty teaching effectiveness; 4) role of the SI leader; 5) impact of SI leader??s role on perceptions of teaching, its activities, and faculty teaching effectiveness; and 6) impact of SI leader??s role on behaviors on end-of-course evaluations. A major finding of this study is that SI leaders and students define teaching and its activities in a similar fashion. SI leaders, unlike students, however, report that learning is tied to teaching effectiveness, or lack thereof. This study has three major results: 1) SI leaders end up teaching, rather than facilitating; 2) the SI leader??s role impacts views on teaching; and 3) the SI leaders?? role impacts behaviors on end-of-course evaluations. A review of the literature on student ratings of instruction and regular attendance at SI indicate that both correlate, to a small degree, with mean end-of-course grades. Claims of validity with respect to both may be somewhat suspect, in light of SI leader??s claims that they teach, rather than facilitate. Investigation of the impact of regular attendance at SI on end-of-course grades and end-of-course evaluations may result in the need to draw new conclusions with respect to validity of student ratings of instruction and SI.