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Student Evaluation of Courses and Lecturers (SECL), Extra-class Communication and Student Engagement

Transforming Assessment and Evaluation

Discussant Information

James E. J. Young
School of Education, UWI, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Author Information:

Godfrey A. Steele
UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad
Madgerie Jameson Charles


student evaluation of courses and lecturers (SECL), extra-class communication, student engagement, predicted outcome value theory, interpersonal/relational communication

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 8
Date: 3rd June, 2015
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: KHAIROON EAST (Room 1)


The Student Evaluation of Courses and Lecturers (SECL) instrument provides opportunities to study student engagement and extra-class communication as a form of teacher immediacy. Researchers tend to study teacher immediacy in the context of in-class teacher classroom verbal and nonverbal immediacy, but there has been less attention to informal extra-class communication (ECC) exchanges and outcomes. ECC is ?informal student-faculty interaction ... that occurs beyond the realm of in-class formal instruction? (Bippus et al, 2001, p. 16). We report on the conduct of an exploratory study using documentary analysis (n=3551) of the SECL to discover what it tells us about ECC and student engagement. A large university?s Student Evaluation of Courses and Lecturers (SECL) revealed strong agreement on teacher approachability and positive ECC, but limited insight into the nature of ECC. A more sophisticated instrument will be required to unpack and interrogate the specifics of ECC and its link with student engagement. The findings and implications for refining a new modified ECC instrument for the study of ECC and engagement and using it in future research are discussed.