Student evaluation of courses: What predicts satisfaction?

Nida Denson*, Thomas Loveday, Helen Dalton

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    95 Citations (Scopus)


    The main goals of course evaluations are to obtain student feedback regarding courses and teaching for improvement purposes and to provide a defined and practical process to ensure that actions are taken to improve courses and teaching. Of the items on course evaluation forms, the one that receives the most attention and consequently the most weight is the question, 'Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this course.' However, no attention has been placed on examining the predictors of students being 'satisfied with the quality of this course' overall. This study attempts to address this gap. The findings show that while student characteristics and reasons for enrolling in a course are predictors of overall satisfaction, it is the evaluation questions that predict the majority of the variation in course satisfaction. The findings also reveal that faculty-selected optional questions are stronger predictors of overall satisfaction than compulsory questions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)339-356
    Number of pages18
    JournalHigher Education Research and Development
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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