UW-Green Bay CCQ Norms and Percentiles

CCQ Norms

We do not have clearly defined standards for what a “good” course is. Therefore, interpreting the meaning of student reactions to courses is difficult. What is the meaning of an average rating of 8 on the question, “did the instructor put the material across in an interesting way?” Does the average rating of 8 mean that “being interesting” is one of the instructor’s strong points or does it mean that the instructor needs to try to increase the interest value of the material?

One way to alleviate (but not eliminate) this problem is to develop a norm. This is done by obtaining student reactions to a great variety of courses. Then an individual instructor can compare reactions to his or her course with reactions to many other courses. Such a comparison allows the instructor to examine areas in which he or she is relatively strong or weak according to student reactions to the course and to other courses.

Three types of norms are available. First, there is the norm for individual dimensions. The norm for an individual dimension is the average response given by all students in a given class. This norm is found on the “Instructor’s Report” sent to instructors once they have posted grades for the preceding semester. Second, there is a UW-Green Bay norm for each dimension. The UW-Green Bay norm is the average response of all students in all classes (n=920) which used the CCQ during Semester I and II of the 2001-02 academic year (see Table 1). Data from the 2004-05 academic year is provided as a comparison (n=946). Note: courses with fewer than three students filling out a CCQ where not included in the averages below.

Table 1.  Course Comments Questionnaire (CCQ) Data
UW-Green Bay Historical Norms (2001-02; n=920 sections)
UW-Green Bay Most Recent Norms (2004-05; n=946 sections)
Organization General Intellectual Development Instructor-Student Relationship Importance & Relevance Difficulty Learning Course Content Overall
Historical Norms (means)
2001-02
8.07 7.99 8.43 8.02 7.12 7.98 8.06
Standard
Deviation (2001-02)
1.18 1.09 1.21 1.12 1.16 0.97 1.19
Most Recent Averages (means)
2004-05
8.18 8.07 8.52 8.09 7.02 8.03 8.12
Standard Deviation (2004-05) 1.10 1.04 1.12 1.08 1.16 0.96 1.13

CCQ Percentiles

Next, there are percentile norms for each dimension. These percentiles were obtained by making a distribution of the class averages for all 920 classes using the CCQ in 2001-02, then determining the scores that divided off the lowest 10 percent of the classes, the next 10 percent, etc. Table 2 contains percentile information.  Data from the 2004-05 academic year is provided as a comparison (n=946).

2.  Course Comments Questionnaire (CCQ) Data
Percentile by Dimension (2001-02, 2004-05)
2001-02: n=920 sections; 2004-05: n=946 sections) 
%ile Year Organization General Intellectual Development Instructor-
Student Relationship
Importance and Relevance Difficulty Learning Course Content Overall
100 01-02 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
04-05 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
90 01-02 9.3 9.3 9.7 9.3 8.5 9.0 9.4
04-05 9.4 9.3 9.7 9.3 8.3 9.1 9.4
80 01-02 9.0 8.9 9.4 9.0 8.0 8.8 9.0
04-05 9.1 9.0 9.5 9.0 8.0 8.8 9.1
70 01-02 8.8 8.6 9.2 8.7 7.7 8.6 8.8
04-05 8.9 8.7 9.3 8.7 7.7 8.6 8.8
60 01-02 8.5 8.4 9.0 8.4 7.4 8.3 8.5
04-05 8.6 8.4 9.0 8.5 7.4 8.4 8.6
50 01-02 8.3 8.1 8.7 8.2 7.2 8.1 8.3
04-05 8.4 8.2 8.8 8.3 7.1 8.1 8.3
40 01-02 8.0 7.9 8.4 7.9 6.9 7.8 8.0
04-05 8.1 7.9 8.5 8.0 6.8 7.9 8.0
30 01-02 7.7 7.5 8.0 7.6 6.6 7.6 7.7
04-05 7.8 7.7 8.1 7.6 6.5 7.7 7.7
20 01-02 7.3 7.1 7.5 7.1 6.3 7.3 7.2
04-05 7.3 7.3 7.7 7.3 6.1 7.3 7.3
10 01-02 6.5 6.5 6.8 6.7 5.7 6.7 6.5
04-05 6.7 6.8 7.1 6.6 5.6 6.8 6.7

Results expressed in percentiles probably give the greatest insight into how students perceive a course. These results suggest how much different from the typical course students perceive that a course was in terms of the CCQ’s dimensions.

Differences between successive percentile points, for example, from 40 to 50, correspond to small differences in actual class average responses. A typical difference between successive percentiles is less than one-half of a point, for example, less than from 7.0 to 7.5. Therefore, small differences between percentiles should not be emphasized. If the rating for a course is at the 70th percentile on Relevance and at the 60th percentile in Organization, it is better to say that the course obtained about equal ratings in the two areas rather than to say the course was rated higher in Relevance than in Organization. Similarly, one would best describe ratings from the 40th to 60th percentile as about average.

Ideally, one should compare each course with courses that are similar in terms of content area, level, type of student, etc. Because of the great variety of combinations of courses, types of students, etc., constructing a unique norm for each course has not been feasible. However, it is possible for an instructor who uses the CCQ in the same course given in different semesters to compare ratings obtained on different occasions. This may be the most useful comparisons for the instructor.