This work in progress paper aims to evaluate the relationship between first year engineering students’ perception of instructor competency and their individual performance. Students will be given surveys to evaluate their perception of both the student (teaching assistant) and faculty instructor’s competency and enthusiasm to be teaching the course in which they are enrolled. It is predicted as the student perception of their instructors drops, there will be a correlated grade decline as well.
A recent change in curriculum in a first year engineering fundamentals class was implemented and there has been pushback from both students and faculty. The fundamental question of “Is this person qualified enough to teach this material?” seems to be at the heart of the debate. Some faculty question whether or not students who have recently completed the course are qualified enough to be able to help teach the subject matter. Others argue it offers current students a more relaxed environment, therefore promoting learning and increasing content retention. This work aims to evaluate the relationship between student perception of instructors’, both student (teaching assistant) and faculty, competency and enthusiasm and their performance in the class.
To obtain the students perception of their instructors, both student and faculty, the same survey will be given at 3 time points throughout the semester: (1) the first day of classes, effectively obtaining a first impression response, (2) halfway through the semester, around the first exam and after they had a chance to get to know their instructors further, and (3) at the end of the course before the final exam. To motivate students to complete the survey an incentive of 5 extra points was/will be given for each survey completed. In the survey, there will be a section for comments for students to qualify their answers should they feel the need. After the results of the survey are collected, the responses [n ≤ 240] – which were on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high) – will be correlated with individual student’s grades. Trends will be observed and preliminary conclusions will be drawn.
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