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August 1970

Student Satisfaction With Small Group Teaching of Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis
From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, Wis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(2):174-179. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750020078010

RESEARCHING teaching effectiveness proves to be unexpectedly challenging and complex. The realm in which learning occurs coincides only imperfectly with one's explicit goals and, but for the central, substantive areas of achievement, the criteria of change rather quickly become unacceptably subjective and unscientific.

The most commonly accepted evidence of student performance is the standardized examination, such as National Boards. But such performances confound student ability with teacher effectiveness—two variables not easily separated. Another method of evaluating teaching effectiveness is through the use of ratings by fellow teachers or supervisors. This approach, however, is highly susceptible to value judgments which may preclude the necessary objectivity on the part of the evaluator. A third method is that of student evaluation of teaching performance, a criterion which has shown a recent upsurge in frequency of use.1-9

There is much to recommend student satisfaction as a pertinent criterion in all fields of

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