A Mixed Methods Study of Student Learning Objectives (SLOS) in Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness
Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), as a measure of students’ academic growth, have been broadly used in the evaluation of teacher effectiveness. In this research I employed a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design and incorporated four studies to investigate using SLOs in teacher evaluation in South Carolina (SC). For Study 1 and Study 2, I used surveys to explore educators’ perspectives of SLOs before and after the full implementation of the teacher evaluation system in SC. For Study 3, I used interviews with teachers to explore in-depth the impact and implementation of SLOs. In Study 4, I investigated the relationship between teachers’ SLO scores and classroom observation scores. An analysis of survey scale questions and open-ended questions, interviews, and evaluation scores from a total of 1,020 participants revealed important findings about using SLOs in the evaluation of teacher effectiveness.
First, most educators agreed on the impact of SLOs before the full implementation of the evaluation system but disagreed on the impact of SLOs after the full implementation of the system. Second, most educators agreed on the impact of classroom observations both before and after the full implementation of the evaluation system. Third, in comparison with teachers, administrators reported more positive views of both SLOs and classroom observations. Fourth, after the full implementation of the evaluation system, early career teachers reported more positive views of both SLOs and classroom observations in comparison with career teachers. In addition, there were various issues reported regarding the implementation of SLOs in teacher evaluation.
Finally, teachers who had positive views of classroom observations tended to have more positive views of SLOs. Teachers who had a higher classroom observation score tended to have a higher SLO score, and the SLO scores could better differentiate teacher performance in comparison with their classroom observation scores. These findings provide important information about using SLOs in teacher evaluation in South Carolina. They can be used to improve teacher evaluation system, inform policy making, promote teacher professional development, enhance classroom instruction and assessment, and support student learning.
Fan, X.(2020). A Mixed Methods Study of Student Learning Objectives (SLOS) in Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/6148