Students’ evaluation of academic courses: An exploratory analysis to an Italian case study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionStudies in Educational Evaluation. 2021, 70, 101054. 10.1016/j.stueduc.2021.101054
Students’ evaluations of teaching is a common practice in higher education institutions, with the main purpose of improving course quality and effectiveness. In this paper we would like to contribute to the existing literature on course and teaching evaluation by providing an empirical analysis based on questionnaires collected by an Italian private institution, namely the Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta (LUMSA), for several degrees in Social Sciences. In order to identify the main factors affecting students’ satisfaction, we use not only teaching indicators and degree-specific characteristics, but also control for student-specific characteristics. Our analysis is based on a Multiple Correspondence Analysis for categorical variables, which represents a very useful method to study the multidimensional relationship among qualitative variables, along with a hierarchical clustering, in order to better summarize the results. Our findings reveal that student satisfaction relates to teaching and course organization. Moreover, we find some evidence that students typically evaluate their course on the basis of their experience rather than their personal interests.