How Should Classroom Faculty Achieve High Global Teacher Effectiveness Ratings? Beauty And Charisma Help

evaluations   In this lovely qualitative study, entering first-year medical students listened to 2-minute podcast clips of lectures previously given by well-rated (>4 on a 5-point Likert global scale) or poorly-rated (<3 on the same scale) faculty members.  During the podcast clip, a photograph of an attractive or unattractive gender-matched person was projected onto a large screen.  Students were then given 30 seconds to give a global rating on the same Likert scale and describe their impressions of the teacher.  The descriptions were analyzed and broke down into two independent components: knowledge/intellect and “charisma”.  “Charisma” included sub-components caring, engaging, entertaining, confident, and organized.

Interestingly, student global ratings based on the 2-minute podcast clip were very highly correlated (r=0.78) to prior students’ end-of-course ratings.  Knowledge/intellect scores did not influence the global rating (p=0.5), but both charisma and having an attractive picture projected had a high positive association (p<0.001).  Average ratings over 4 were reserved for high-charisma presentations, while average ratings less than 3.5 were associated with low-charisma presentations with an unattractive picture on display.  In addition to being humorous, this study brings into question our use of learner global evaluations for high-stakes decisions regarding faculty. — Laura Willett, MD

Link To Article

Rannelli L1, Coderre S, Paget M, Woloschuk W, Wright B, McLaughlin K. How do medical students form impressions of the effectiveness of classroom teachers? Med Educ. 2014 Aug;48(8):831-7. doi: 10.1111/medu.12420.
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