FAQ: Reporting Averages

How should averages be reported to account for changing response options?


Prior to Fall 2011, one of the standard items asked students to provide an “overall rating” of the instructor on 4-point scale. In Fall 2011 this item was removed and replaced with a new item asking students to rate the instructor’s “overall teaching effectiveness” on a 6-point scale. Although the old and new items both address students’ overall perceptions, the new item is more direct it its focus and the six-point scale allows for larger response distributions.

When sharing results for the overall item, separate averages should be given for ratings collected prior to Fall 2011 and for those collected Fall 2011 and after. For example, averages on the “overall” item could be reported in the format shown below.

Spring 2011 “Overall rating of instructor” (1=poor, 2=fair, 3=good, 4=excellent) Instructor average = 3.4, Department average = 3.2, College average = 3.3

Fall 2011 “Overall, the instructor’s teaching was effective” (1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=somewhat disagree, 4=somewhat agree, 5=agree, 6=strongly agree) Instructor average = 4.8, Department average = 4.6, College average = 4.7

Also See...

Is there an "overall rating" item on SPOT evaluations?