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Research project could revolutionize course evaluation

Jun 3, 2020

Noori Akhtar-Danesh

Photo above: Noori Akhtar-Danesh 

Can we improve how courses are evaluated and use that information to improve them? That’s the question being posed by a team of researchers. 

Dr. Noori Akhtar-Danesh of the School of Nursing is a co-principal investigator on a project that could dramatically change how instructors administer, employ, and interpret course evaluations. 

The McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences’ Education Scholarship Fund has awarded a MERIT grant to the research team. 

“With current methods of evaluation, it is difficult to know what course changes are of highest priority and likely to be the most beneficial. Also, if course changes are implemented, it is difficult to know whether it has improved the student learning experience,” says Akhtar-Danesh.

“Q-methodology offers an alternate approach to course evaluation. It provides a richer and more informative dataset, which can hone course improvement. The new method could give instructors an evidence-based approach to knowing what course changes are most beneficial,” he says. 

The other co-principal investigator leading the team of five researchers is Dr. Bruce Wainman of the department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine. 

Grant details:

Noori Akhtar-Danesh, Bruce Wainman (co-PIs). Co-investigators: Liz Darling, Sarah Wojkowski, Danielle Brewer-Deluce. Q-Methodology: A Revolutionary Approach to Course Evaluation. Faculty of Health Sciences’ Education Scholarship Fund (MERIT). $25,000. July 2020 to June 2022.


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