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Fadia Nasser-Abu Alhija, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in the Areas of Research Methods, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics, Tel Aviv University and Sakhnin College, Israel



Keynote Speech Title:

"The Challenge of the Teaching Evaluation and Improvement in Higher Education"




Evaluation of teaching has several aims such as assessing students' satisfaction with teaching; providing feedback that serves as a basis for improving teaching; generating information that enlightens administrative decisions; and providing information that can be used to ensure institutional quality. The evaluation of teaching can be performed using various methods of which the most commonly used is student evaluation of teaching (SET) surveys completed at the end of each academic term. Surveys are widely used because they are easy, fast, relatively inexpensive, and yield reasonable information. Stakeholders of SET results include students, instructors, and administrators whose attitudes towards SET are diverse. Students tend to be ambivalent about the usefulness of the SET process. They view improved instruction as the primary outcome of SET whereas using SET results for administrative matters is not among their concerns. Many college professors believe the SET results can be useful for learning about the strengths and weaknesses of their teaching and for improvement. They agree that SET can be an acceptable tool for assessing the quality of the institution but doubt its usefulness as a measure of effective teaching. Administrators tend to possess more positive attitudes towards SET than do professors and students. Various challenges are tied to SET. The most critical is the lack of agreement regarding the definition of good/effective/efficient teaching. Another issue pertains to the validity of SET, which involves three aspects: the content and structure of evaluation tools, the question of bias, and the interpretation and use of the evaluation results.



Fadia Nasser-Abu Alhija is an associate professor at the School of Education of Tel Aviv University where she is also heading the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching. She holds a Ph.D. in research methods, evaluation, measurement and statistics from the University of Georgia in the United States.

Prof. Nasser-Abu Alhija is the first Arab women to be awarded a rank of associate professor at an Israeli university and the first Arab women to be assigned as a member of the Israeli Council of Higher Education. She is intensively involved in professional and advisory committees, most of which pertain to educational acts and initiatives related to the Arab community in Israel. She is involved in research, which is published as journal articles, books, book chapters, research reports, and conference papers.  She is active in international professional associations (such as AERA, STAR, Indent, and IUT) and participates in the conferences they organize. Her research interests include teaching improvement (mainly in higher education), correlates of student achievement, and issues related to measurement, assessment, and evaluation.

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