Disciplinary Differences in Student Ratings of Teaching Quality

D. Kember, Yin Ping Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Comparisons of large samples of course and teaching evaluation questionnaire data show consistent disciplinary differences. The current study examined the disciplinary differences in a theoretical model positing the impact of the perceived nature of teaching and learning environment on the development of generic capabilities by testing of (1) whether a common model of good teaching operated across disciplines and (2) the extent of deployment of teaching variables and their impact on learning outcomes. The sample consisted of 3,305 first and third year Chinese undergraduates of a university in Hong Kong, divided into four broad disciplinary groupings. Multiple-group structural equation modelling analysis showed configural invariance of the hypothesised model, suggesting a common model of good teaching across disciplines; and significant differences in the magnitude of structural paths and latent mean values across the four disciplinary groups were obtained reflecting differences between disciplines in the extent to which elements within the teaching and learning environment were brought into play. Possible reasons in terms of the epistemological nature of the disciplines were given to explain for the disciplinary variations. © 2010 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-299
Number of pages22
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Disciplinary difference
  • Epistemology
  • Graduate capabilities
  • Perceived quality of teaching
  • Teaching and learning environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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