A Comparison of Student Perceptions of Quality of Instruction by Full-Time Instructors and Adjunct Instructors at a Community College in Iowa
Meakins, Louise Hamilton
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The purpose: The purpose of the thesis is to examine student perceptions of the quality at a community college to determine if there is a significant difference based on the employment status of the instructor. Procedure: Permission was obtained from the Dean of the Marshalltown Community college to conduct the study. An instrument was constructed using student input at the same college. This survey instrument was then administered to a sample of students in classes taught by full-time instructors and classes taught by adjunct instructors. These classes were selected randomly. The total of 129 surveys tabulated for this study constituted a sample of 10.6 percent of the population. Five demographic questions and eight evaluation questions were asked. Both chi square results and mean scores were calculated. Results: At an alpha level of .05 only one evaluation question showed a significant difference, that being item 6: The instructor’s knowledge of the subject seems broad and accurate. Students rated adjunct instructors higher on this item than they did full-time instructors. Chi-square results for each survey item are given as well as mean score comparisons of various demographic categories. Conclusions: This study indicates that students perceive little difference in the quality of instruction delivered by full-time instructors or by adjunct instructors at Marshalltown Community College.
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