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Title: Lecturers’ perception towards student evaluation of their teaching competencies at Africa University in Zimbabwe
Authors: Makoni, Richard (PhD)
Keywords: Lecturers’ perception, student evaluation, teaching competencies, Africa University, Zimbabwe.
Issue Date: Aug-2015
Abstract: At Africa University, students evaluate their lecturers’ teaching competencies toward the end of every semester. These evaluations are used for different professional and administrative purposes. Student evaluations of lecturers’ competencies have a direct bearing on university teaching and on the financial sustainability of the institution. Notwithstanding the controversies and perceived usefulness of student evaluations of lecturers’ teaching competencies, no study has been conducted at Africa University to confirm, modify or reject what is reported in the related literature about student evaluations. Accordingly, this study was undertaken to critically examine the perceptions of lecturers toward student evaluation of their teaching competencies at Africa University in Zimbabwe. A phenomenological methodology was used to understand the lived experiences of study participants in relation to the phenomenon being studied. The key findings of this research revealed that when properly administered student evaluations can be an important feedback mechanism for enhancing quality university teaching. There was concurrence among participants that education, particularly in a university setting, cannot be administered without student evaluations despite their downside. Evidence from this research showed a close link between student evaluations, quality university teaching and the financial sustainability of the institution. Areas of dissonance among participants, however, emerged on the validity and dependability of student evaluations. Thus, while a few participants argued that student evaluations are hundred % valid and dependable, the majority maintained that corroborative methods have to be used to ascertain the authenticity of such evaluations as students are not experts and mature enough to give a true reflection of what will have transpired in the lecture theater. Conclusions were therefore drawn from these findings suggestingthat administrators at Africa University need to provide students with systematic orientation programmes so that they become reliable judges and make informed decisions when evaluating lecturers’ teaching competencies. Additionally, findings of this research provide compelling evidence that transparent structures and processes should be put in place to ensure that feedback from student evaluations is used effectively to enhance quality university teaching and the sustainability of the institution.
Appears in Collections:Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Private Higher Education in Africa

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