The Student Response to Instruction (SRTI) is the product of a collaboration between the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment (OAPA) and the (then) Center for Teaching with guidance from and review by the (then) Faculty Senate Committee on Teaching and Technology and on- and off-campus measurement experts.
The SRTI form and administration processes incorporate recommendations from experts in the field, research and applied literature on implementation and reporting, and principles of solid survey design. Item inclusion was informed by research-based concepts related to teaching effectiveness, including principles of good practice for undergraduate education, and our own research into the factors UMass students said they value in their courses.
Additionally, the SRTI is designed to: (1) be concise so as not to overburden students who have multiple forms to fill out each semester; (2) focus on questions generic enough to be relevant to all course formats and instructional approaches; and (3) collect both formative feedback for instructors (Diagnostic items 1-9) and summative feedback to inform promotion and tenure decisions (Global items 10-12).
(For a detailed description of the development of the SRTI and a summary of the reliability and validity research for SRTI and course ratings in general see Student Response to Instruction (SRTI): Reliability and Validity Research.)
Diagnostic items (items 1–9) highlight specific strengths and areas for improvement in a teacher's performance, as perceived by students. As such, items 1–9 primarily serve a formative evaluation purpose (i.e., results are used to improve current practices).
The items reflect six research-based teaching constructs important to facilitating student learning and achievement:
- course organization and planning (items 1 and 4)
- clarity of communication (items 2 and 3)
- instructor engagement/enthusiasm/interest (item 5)
- instructor/student rapport (item 6)
- interaction/questioning (item 9)
- feedback to students (items 7 and 8)
Global items (items 10–12) assess students’ overall perceptions of the instructor, the course, and the amount they learned compared to other courses. Research shows that global items are highly correlated with student achievement and satisfaction and are applicable and comparable in a variety of teaching and learning situations. As such, items 10-12 are those best used for administrative reviews of teaching performance (i.e., summative evaluation).