As psychologists, we believe that if students have a positive personal and/or social view of the lecturer, this may lead to more positive ratings irrespective of teaching effectiveness (Soapbox, THES , December 7).
Unfortunately, if a "halo" effect is in operation during the measurement of teaching effectiveness, student feedback will be skewed.
No one would argue that student feedback is not important, but it can be flawed.
University of Ulster at Magee
Mark Griffiths, Philip Banyard and Mark Davies
Nottingham Trent University