Systematically Investigating Instructor Impact on Student Satisfaction in Graduate Programs

Systematically Investigating Instructor Impact on Student Satisfaction in Graduate Programs

Megan G. Adams (Kennesaw State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3068-8.ch012


The purpose of this chapter is to investigate how flexibility impacts student performance and satisfaction in a graduate level course. This example explores how much flexibility can be incorporated without compromising instructor satisfaction. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether student satisfaction and performance increased when the instructor in a graduate level teacher education course increased flexibility in discussion grouping and format and in grading and revisions. The goals of the study were to increase student satisfaction and performance in a graduate level reading education course in a college of education. This was a pilot case study using the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) as a lens. Data collection included survey, focus groups, and interview. A small sample size was used to suit the needs of a pilot, qualitative case study. This work is important for teacher educators as they make decisions about the amount of flexibility they are comfortable incorporating into their courses as well as to model evidence based practices for teachers.
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Resarch Questions And Review Of Literature

The goals of the study were to investigate student achievement when instructor flexibility was increased; to investigate student satisfaction when instructor flexibility was increased; and to investigate the impact of instructor flexibility on the instructor. The research questions were:

  • 1.

    Does instructor flexibility in grouping for assignments and discussions impact student satisfaction?

  • 2.

    Does instructor flexibility in discussion format options (synchronous, discussion board, other) impact student satisfaction?

  • 3.

    Does instructor flexibility in grading (allowing revisions) impact student satisfaction?

  • 4.

    Does instructor flexibility in discussions, grouping, and grading impact student achievement as evidenced by student feedback and final grades?

  • 5.

    Does instructor flexibility impact instructor satisfaction in the course?

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