This article is about the accurate interpretation of student ratings data and the appropriate use of that data to evaluate faculty. Its aim is to make recommendations for use and interpretation based on more than 80 years of student ratings research. As more colleges and universities use student ratings data to guide personnel decisions, it is critical that administrators and faculty evaluators have access to research-based information about their use and interpretation. The article begins with an overview of common views and misconceptions about student ratings, followed by clarification of what student ratings are and are not. Next are two sections that provide advice for two audiences—administrators and faculty evaluators—to help them accurately, responsibly, and appropriately use and interpret student ratings data. A list of administrator questions is followed by a list of advice for faculty responsible for evaluating other faculty members’ records.
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