DARBY, J.A., 2007. Evaluating course evaluations: the need to establish what is being measured. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 32(4), pp 441-455.
The study attempted to assess the validity of measures commonly used for course evaluations. Activity and
attitudinal measures were included and these were related to two different control groups. The study was
completed with a sample of teachers who attended a course dealing with child abuse repeated 23 times with
groups of approximately 25 teachers. It was found activities undertaken after the course were more a
reflection on how little effort was required to carry them out than on the effectiveness of the course. Attitude
measures tended to make it appear the course had an effect. The type of control group used for comparison
purposes had a marked effect on whether the course appeared to have been effective. The need to consider
these factors as influential variables when interpreting data from course evaluations was stressed.