Qualities of Good University Professors

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Abstract

In evaluating effective teaching, many higher education institutions turn to end-of-course, self-report questionnaires. While such methods are convenient to administer, the results are often numerical and superficial. This study aims to present alternative methods for teaching assessment by considering feedback related to effective teaching in a public internet forum where university students exchange information about learning experiences, opinions about instructors, and course choice. To examine what constitutes effective teaching from students’ perspectives, feedback messages were filtered and analyzed using words related to evaluation items in ratemyprofessors.com as categories for summative content analysis. The findings revealed that students perceived good teachers as kind, fair in grading, and helpful. They also preferred teachers who were lenient and gave an easy score. This study adds to a foundation for an alternative teaching evaluation method and presents a technique to understand students’ perceptions of effective teaching.