Evaluate teaching in higher education. What is it really for?
Cours e evaluations by students mai nly emplo ys simple su r veys. However, there ar e
many criticisms about their actual usefulness: empirical evidence shows that they are a
ritual way of complying with administrative regulations; the scientific literature does not
demonstrate their impact on the quality of learning. Moreover, their focus is mainly on
student satisfaction and they do not consider the complexity of learning processes. A
qualitative course evaluation was tested as an alternative approach. 106 master’s degree
students in education provided rich answers describing both teachers and students as
agents; they see their learning processes in a context of academic demands and social
interactions. Experience suggests that qualitative course evaluations may give information
on learning that cannot be uncovered in a traditional survey; They also support the
student learner identity and emancipate his role as a co-producer of knowledge.
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