Student Evaluations of Teachers: A New Perspective

Student Evaluations of Teachers: A New Perspective

Questioning the all-too-common practice of having students evaluate teachers every semester is like challenging a sacred cow. But past and current research tells us that the way SETs (student evaluations of teachers) typically are done has many flaws and is in need of dramatic change. In this session, we will note the advantages of SETs, but — perhaps more importantly — we will examine the issues related to this ubiquitous practice and be challenged to consider changes that are needed and how nursing faculty can lead such change efforts in their own schools of nursing.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze evidence-based and personal issues related to the use of SETs (student evaluations of teaching)
  • Propose strategies that address issues related to the use of SETs and create processes that are relevant for students and helpful to faculty
  • Reflect on ways in which one can function as a leader in one’s own institution to enact proposed changes to existing SET processes


Terry Valiga, EdD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN

Dr. Terry Valiga received her bachelor’s degree from Trenton State College and her Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees (both in Nursing Education) from Teachers College, Columbia University. She recentlyh retired from the Duke University School of Nursing where she was Director of the Institute for Educational Excellence and Chair of a Divisionj; she was honored with Emeritus status upon her retirement. Immediately prior to her appointment at Duke, Terry served as the Chief Program Officer at the NLN, and before that, she served on the faculty and held administrative positions (including a deanship) in 5 universities over a 26-year period: Trenton State College and Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova and Fairfield Universities. Terry has completed research related to student learning, cognitive/intellectual development, curriculum design, leadership development, as well as student evaluations of courses and teachers, and has received grants to support her scholarly endeavors. She has published extensively and co-authored five books: the nurse educator in academe, using the arts and humanities to teach nursing, clinical nursing education, achieving excellence in nursing education and leadership, the 6th edition of which is now in process. She has presented papers and workshops at national and international conferences; served as a consultant to many schools of nursing throughout the US, as well as in Canada, Japan, Bermuda, and China; and provided leadership in several professional organizations, including service on national governing boards. In recognition of her leadership and her sustained contributions to nursing scholarship and nursing education, Dr. Valiga has received several prestigious national awards including Sigma Theta Tau’s Elizabeth Russell Belford Founders Award for Excellence in Nursing Education and the National League for Nursing’s Outstanding Leadership in Nursing Education Award, and she been inducted into the Academy of Nursing Education and the American Academy of Nursing.