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Research Productivity and Teaching Effectiveness

Centra, John A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Faculty, Educational Research, Institutional Research, Productivity, Researchers, Teacher Effectiveness


The relationship between research productivity and teaching effectiveness was studied in 1979 and 1980 by considering faculty members at different career stages and in different academic fields. Two samples of faculty members were evaluated: 2,973 from 61 four-year institutions and 1,623 at 10 four-year colleges and universities that emphasized research productivity. Faculty administered the student instructional report, which includes student ratings of teachers with regard to: course organization and planning, faculty/student interaction, communication, course difficulty and workload, textbooks and readings, tests and exams, the value of the course to the students, and the overall effectiveness of the teacher. These factors were correlated with the self-reported number of publications for each faculty member during the most recent five-year period. For both samples, teachers of social science courses were the only group for which there were consistent though modest relationships between the number of published articles and student ratings of instructor effectiveness. Findings did not support a "spill-over" effect of research on teaching, or a general ability and energy factor. It is concluded that the relationship between performance in teaching and research is either nonexistent or, where it appears, too modest to indicate that one necessarily enhances the other. (Author/SW). (17pp.)

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