2019, Cilt 9, Sayı 1, Sayfa(lar) 052-064
Students Perceptions of Education and Teaching Quality in a Teacher Training Programme
Ümmühan AVCI, Filiz KALELİOĞLU
Başkent University, Faculty of Education, Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technologies, Ankara, Turkey
Keywords: Education quality, Teaching quality, Teacher training programme, Student perceptions
The aim of this study is to examine students perceptions about the quality of education and teaching in a teacher education program.
For this purpose, Student Course Experience Scale which was adapted to Turkish by Özcan (2013) and whose validity and reliability
studies were completed was used. In addition, an online semi-structured interview form consisting of open-ended questions was used
to get detailed views of students on the quality of learning-teaching processes. The study included 74 students enrolled in a pedagogical
formation certificate program of a private university. For quantitative analysis, t-test and one-way ANOVA for independent samples
were used, and for qualitative analysis, content analysis was used. Student perceptions of education and teaching quality did not differ
significantly according to their gender or graduated programme. Findings from the data provide clues about student perceptions and
understanding of the quality of their learning process, including where they need support, and in which areas they feel competent. The
findings of this study provide insights for teacher training programmes, institutions, and teaching staff. This study also discusses the factors
that should be considered for educating qualified and competent teachers.
The quality of education and teaching in higher education is a
problem that involves multiple influencing factors and uncertainties
(Yin, Wang, & Hang, 2016; Zheng, 2016). Education and
teaching quality includes effective curriculum design and course
content development, use of feedback, various teaching and
learning contexts, administrator and teacher responsibilities,
effective assessment of learning outcomes, and well-adapted
learning environments (Hénard & Roseveare, 2012). There
are also many quality gaps and no widely accepted methods
for evaluating education and teaching quality and assessing
the impact on students (Altbach, 2006). Thus, researchers
are increasingly interested in the quality and improvement of
student learning. Rowe (2003) expressed that education and
teaching quality has an obvious influence on students cognitive,
affective, and behavioural outcomes, regardless of their
gender or academic backgrounds.
Calvo, Markauskaite, and Trigwell (2010) considered that
several factors, such as year of study, class size, and coordinators
professional development, were significantly related to
education and teaching quality. Higher education has important
social and economic impacts; as such, it is the object of
an entire field of research. Higher education also attracts the
attention of research because the object of its study is the institutional
basis of all academic disciplines and the contribution
of systematic knowledge to the future of society (Brennan &
Teichler, 2008, p. 259). For this reason, it is important to investigate
and improve education and teaching quality in higher
Education and teaching quality includes the following: quality
learners who are ready to participate and learn; quality content
that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for
the acquisition of basic skills; quality processes through which
trained teachers use student-centered teaching approaches in
well-managed classrooms and schools; quality learning environments
that are healthy, safe, protective, and gender-sensitive,
and provide adequate resources and facilities; and quality
outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and
are linked to national goals for education and positive participation
in society (UNICEF, 2000, p. 3).
According to Nikel and Lowe (2010) the fabric of quality in
education and teaching includes conceptual dimensions, i.e.,
effectiveness, efficiency, equity, responsiveness, relevance,
reflexivity, and sustainability. Moreover, according to Wang
and Xiao (2017), Education and teaching quality, refers to a
series of changes, such as diversification of training objectives
and education model, expansion of education function, change
of educational philosophy, curriculum, teaching method,
admission qualification, management mode and relationship
between higher education and society (p. 6792).
Providing quality in education and teaching is a complex process
that involves a combination of political, economic and
cultural factors. According to Ome, Menendez, and Le (2017),
teacher training constitutes a promising policy area to raise the
quality of education in developing countries. Comprehensive teacher training studies should be included in order to increase
the success of students in developing countries. It is necessary
to pay attention to teacher training in order to increase the
standard of quality for education and teaching (Wang & Xiao,
It is important to learn about the quality of education in different
countries in order to build a better future (Michelli, Dada,
Eldridge, Tamim, & Karp, 2016). Rapidly evolving technology
has shaped learning and changed the modern classroom.
Understanding the views of students who are new to the field of
education and related technologies can provide insights to the
profession of teaching (Avcı-Yücel, 2017). These perceptions of
students and their academic experience will later be reflected
in their professional lives. In this context, the perceptions of
students who are pursuing a career in teaching, therefore, play
an important role in this complex process.
Within the published literature, there are some studies in which
the quality of education and teaching has been examined in
terms of certain variables. Some of the studies have explored
students or teacher candidates attitudes, expectations, and
satisfaction levels, and perceptions towards the teaching profession
and teaching quality. Başbay, Ünver, and Bümen (2009)
examined teacher candidates attitudes towards the teaching
profession according to their gender and academic department
(Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Biology,
Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Geography, Philosophy,
English, Turkish Language and Literature, Music Teaching).
Their longitudinal study concluded that there were no differences
or interaction effects in students attitudes towards the
teaching profession by genders and departments. They found
that developing positive attitudes towards the profession is
difficult for students in the one and a half year programme for
teacher candidates. Because their students were not willing
to participate in the programme. This situation might not only
affect the quality of the lessons but also prevent students from
developing positive attitudes. They recommended activities,
such as orientation sessions, to improve student attitudes of
Özcan (2013) studied undergraduate students perceptions of
education and teaching quality in higher education. He adapted
the Student Course Experience Questionnaire (SCEQ) scale
developed by Ginns, Prosser, and Barrie (2007) and then compared
undergraduate students perceptions of teaching quality
in the faculties of education at five universities. Students
perceptions did not differ in terms of teaching quality between
the previously and newly established faculties of education
at universities. Student perceptions differ according to the
universitys academic background about their establishment
(e.g., newly established = five years; developing = 20 years].
According to the perceptions of the students, there are quality
problems in education faculties; for example, the students
expressed that they did not receive feedback about their projects
from their teachers. In addition, the study recommended
that teachers enrich their courses by using various methods
and approaches, such as active learning, collaborative learning,
or problem-based teaching. Özcan (2013) noted problems in the assessment methods. However, he also found that many
students perceived their teachers to be extremely effective at
explaining lessons and maintaining student attention. The study
concluded with suggestions for university administrations,
emphasizing the need to take the necessary actions to improve
teaching quality. Üstünlüoğlu (2016) aimed to investigate the
perceptions of students and lecturers on teaching quality in
higher education in Turkey and Slovakia. The results showed a
difference in perceptions about the pedagogical competence
of lecturers in both countries and pointed to the failure of
university lecturers to meet student expectations in terms
of teaching quality. The study emphasized the importance of
self-reflection, awareness, improvement of teaching skills, and
consequent changes in students learning. Üstünlüoğlu (2016)
drew attention to the administrators responsibility to have
realistic expectations of lecturers.
The quality of education and satisfaction levels has been associated
(Wei & Ramalu, 2011); therefore, student satisfaction
and opinions are important considerations when activities and
curricula are being revised or restructured at educational institutions.
Based on these results, Özçakır, Sümen, and Çağlayan
(2013) studied different variables affecting the satisfaction
levels of prospective teachers regarding educational services.
They found that prospective teachers were not very satisfied
with their school of education, teaching staff, management
services, resources, and computer facilities. There was no
significant difference in student satisfaction levels according
to gender, department, or grade-point average. The results
showed that students wanted modern buildings, social environments,
technological possibilities, new methods, free and
scientific classrooms, practical courses, and teachers who were
professionals, experts in their fields, and role models for students
in terms of their personal characteristics. The authors
concluded that student opinions about education faculties
have to be considered with the aim of enhancing the quality of
education and teaching.
Studies in the extant literature are usually based on the
systems of student evaluations of education and teaching
(Clayson, 2009; Sojka, Gupta, & Deeter-schmelz, 2010; Goos &
Salomons, 2017; Hammonds, Mariano, Ammons, & Chambers,
2016). Such systems are widely used to measure education and
teaching quality in higher education. Hammonds et al. (2016)
studied student evaluations of teaching used for documenting
and improving education and teaching quality in both North
America and the UK. According to these authors, the evaluation
of education and teaching is an important part of higher
education. They found various problems, including issues in
engaging students to become active participants in improving
quality. They recommended that higher education administrators
should maximize the practical information gained from
student evaluations of education and teaching. Yin, Wang, and
Hang (2016) used the CEQ to examine undergraduate students
perceptions of education and teaching quality. They found
good teaching to be the only factor having a positive effect
on student attitudes, whereas student assessment methods
were found to have a negative effect on student perceptions.
According to researchers studying university teaching, the
role of teacher-centred pedagogy and the nature of student
assessments need to be re-examined. Yin, Lu, and Wang
(2014) examined Chinese university students course experience
using the CEQ and its influence on their approaches to
learning. They stated that students are not independent in
the learning process because of the teacher-centred nature of
education in China. According to those researchers, increasing
instructors efforts and commitment to teaching tends to facilitate
surface-level rather than deep changes in the approach to
learning. One of the means to change the quality of teaching,
according to Ome et al. (2017), is the improvement of education
and teaching quality through teacher training and professional
development. Ome et al. (2017) examined a teacher training
programme conducted in the Republic of Georgia and analysed
the impact of this programme on student achievement measured
by mathematics and reading test scores. They argued
that their study, as a first rigorous evaluation of a teacher training
programme in Eastern Europe, would be particularly valid
for developing countries trying to raise education and teaching
quality in the region. They suggested that in the process of
teacher training, in addition to simply lessons for teachers,
comprehensive teacher training, including constructive feedback
and pedagogical materials would be most effective.
The common point of the studies carried out both in Turkey
and in other countries is to examine the professional development
of the teachers with a comprehensive approach. In these
studies, it is seen that the quality of education and teaching
in teacher training programmes, and the effects of variables
such as student achievement and satisfaction of increasing
this quality are investigated. It is also clear that various programmes
have been studied and various education policies
identified to increase these effects. As in other countries, in
Turkey there are also programmes for teacher training. In this
current study, the quality of education and teaching in teacher
training programmes and students perceptions was examined
from the perspective of Turkey.
The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of
students about education and teaching quality in the teacher
training programme. For this purpose, the following questions
(1) What are the perceptions of students on education and
teaching quality in the teacher training programme?
(2) Are there any significant differences in student perceptions
towards education and teaching in the teacher training
programme according to (a) their gender or (b) graduated
In this study, a convergent parallel design, which is a type of
mixed research method, is used (Creswell, 2012). In this design,
quantitative and qualitative data were collected in parallel,
analysed separately, and then combined to determine whether
the results support each other.
Students were enrolled in the teacher training programme
(n = 74) in the fall semester of the 20152016 academic year
at a private university in Ankara, Turkey. While determining
the sample group of the study, purposeful sampling method
was used. Purposeful sampling allows the identification and
selection of information-rich cases for the most effective use
of limited resources (Patton, 2002). Only 74 of the students
enrolled in the program responded the data collection tools.
The sample was 68.9% (n = 51) female and 31.1% (n = 23) male.
The mean age of the participants was 29, with ages ranging
from 23 to 38 years old. In terms of their computer usage skill
levels, 4.1% (n = 3) of participants were beginner, 74.3% (n
= 55) were intermediate and 21.6% (n = 16) were advanced.
Regarding academic background, 45.9% (n = 34) of the participants
graduated from a sport sciences programme, 25.7% (n
= 19) graduated from a math programme, and 28.4% (n = 21)
graduated from a health sciences programme. This programme
is for students who have graduated from a variety of undergraduated
programmes. However, the participants of this
study are limited to the programmes applying for registration
to the university concerned.
Procedure and Context
The teacher training programme which is called Pedagogical
Formation Certificate Programme in Turkey, offers formal
teaching education while providing methodological and practical
information to students. Pedagogical formation students
represent a group for whom teaching was generally not the
first choice of profession and who later decided to become
teachers for various reasons. Students within the Pedagogical
Formation Certificate Programme take courses in order to
obtain teaching competencies equivalent to other courses in
education faculty programmes. This programme also prepares
them for their future teaching positions.
The Pedagogical Formation Certificate Programme has been
used to train teachers since 2010 in Turkey. Students of
undergraduated programmes and graduate students from the
departments designated by the Ministry of National Education
can apply to the certificate programme. A certain degree of
graduation average (minimum 2.5 / 4 or 65/100) is required
for the application. The programme can be completed in one
academic year, consisting of two semesters. The programme
consists of the following courses: Introduction to Educational
Science; Educational Psychology; Measurement and Evaluation
in Education; Principles and Methods of Instruction; General
Instructional Methods; Special Instructional Methods; Classroom
Management, Instructional Technologies, and Material
Development; and Teaching Practice.
Data Collection Tools
As a quantitative measure, the SCEQ was used in this study.
This questionnaire was adapted by Özcan (2013) from that
developed by Ginns, Prosser, and Barrie (2007). It consisted
of 23 items rated on a five-point Likert scale, where 5 represented
strongly agree and 1 represented strongly disagree. The questionnaire was adapted to the Turkish context using
SPSS 15.0 and Lisrel 8.80. Exploratory and confirmatory factor
analyses were used to assess the reliability and validity of the
questionnaire. The Cronbachs alpha value of the SCEQ was
0.83, showing very good reliability in internal consistency. In
this study, the Cronbachs alpha value was 0.79 for the questionnaire.
Five factors are covered in the questionnaire (Özcan,
2013, p. 144). 1) The Good Teaching Scale (GTS) consists of
items relating to lecturers efforts to increase student interest,
to give students feedback, and to motivate and guide students
to become successful. 2) The Clear Goals and Standards Scale
(CGS) consists of items regarding the ways lecturers determine
their lesson standards and explain their expectations to students.
3) The Appropriate Assessment Scale (AAS) consists
of items related to assessment methods. 4) The Appropriate
Workload Scale (AWS) consists of items covering lecturers
course preparation time. Finally, 5) the Generic Skills Scale
(GSS) includes items that determine students analytical, problem-
solving, and communication skills levels.
As a qualitative measure, a semi-structured interview form,
which was created by the researchers of the current study,
was used; two experts with a PhD in the field of education
technology evaluated the open-ended questions in terms of
content validity. The final version of the questions was given in
consultation with the experts as follows:
(1) What are your opinions about the definition of a quality
(2) What are your opinions about the quality of the teacher
training programmes courses in terms of preparing you for
(3) What are your opinions about the overall quality of the
courses you have taken?
(4) Can you give examples of the courses that you found to be
of good quality?
(5) What are your opinions about the strengths of education in
(6) What are your opinions about the weaknesses of education
in your department?
(7) What suggestions would you give for improving course
Quantitative data were processed with the SPSS 18.0. Frequencies
and percentages were used to analyse the data. An independent
samples t-test was carried out to determine whether
there was any statistically significant difference among students
in their perceptions towards the teaching quality according to
their gender and one-way ANOVA for independent samples
according to their graduated programme.
Skewness and kurtosis values were computed to check the normality
assumption. The skewness value was −0.733, and the
kurtosis value was 0.688 in this study. Given that these values
were in the range of −2 and +2, it can be said that the distributions are normal (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2007; George & Mallery,
2003). In addition, before performing statistical analyses, the
normality of t-test and ANOVA was tested. According to the
KolmogorovSmirnov test, the data were distributed normally
(p = .098). After testing the assumptions, t-test and ANOVA
analyses were carried out.
The qualitative data were analysed using content analysis.
The data were prepared for analysis, the authors defined the
themes of analysis based on the objectives of the study, developed
categories, and then coding text process was initiated.
Each answer given for questions was read more than once,
and data were coded according to the categories, and then frequency
tables were created. Moreover, codes and categories
were rearranged and classified until consensus was reached
between the authors. After coding the whole dataset validity
and reliability were checked.
The coded answers were cross-checked along with the themes
and code whether they were adequately reflecting the issue
investigated or not. For ensuring the reliability of the codes
generated in the data analysis process, some of the data were
re-analysed by the researcher after ten months later. Percentage
of internal consistency of two coding processes was found
to be 0.84. This result could be considered as evidence for
the required reliability. Finally, the results were supported by
significant ideas and statements of some of the participants
as quotations to illustrate the findings from the qualitative
Students perceptions of education and teaching quality in the
teacher training programme were analysed using answers from
the questionnaire; gender and graduated programme variables
were of particular interest.
Students perceptions of teaching quality in higher education
Students perceptions of education and teaching quality are
given in Table 1 as frequencies and percentages with means
and standard deviations.
According to the GTS in Table 1, 66.2% of students agreed
or strongly agreed that their teachers gave helpful feedback,
motivated them, spent a lot of time commenting on their
work, and made a real effort to understand the difficulties
that students may be having with their work. Among the participants
in this study, 81.1% agreed or strongly agreed that
their teachers were extremely good at explaining concepts,
79.7% agreed or strongly agreed that their teachers worked
hard to make their subjects interesting to students. In the CGS,
86.4% of the students agreed or strongly agreed that they
had a clear idea about the courses; thus, courses met their
expectations; 81% agreed or strongly agreed that it was easy
to understand the standard of work expected; 85.1% agreed or
strongly agreed that teachers made their expectations clear;
and 55.4% disagreed or strongly disagreed that it was difficult
to know what was expected of them in their courses. Students responses in the AAS showed that 51.3% of students disagreed
or strongly disagreed that the teachers seem more interested
in testing what they had memorized than what they had understood;
70.3% agreed or strongly agreed that instructors asked
questions only about facts; and 32.4% were undecided as to
whether having a good memory is sufficient for success in their
courses. In the AWS, 39.2% of the students disagreed or strongly
disagreed that they felt they were under considerable pressure
as students; 62.2% disagreed or strongly disagreed that
the course workload was too heavy; 79.7% agreed or strongly
agreed that they were given enough time to understand the
information they had to learn; and 44.6% were undecided as
to whether completion of all the activities in courses indicated
full comprehension. Students responses in the GSS showed
that 75.7%, 78.3%, 81.1%, and 70.2% of the students agreed
or strongly agreed that the courses improved their teamwork,
analytical, problem-solving, and written communication skills,
respectively; 77% agreed or strongly agreed that the courses
increased their self-confidence in solving unfamiliar problems.
Finally, 77% of the students agreed or strongly agreed that the
courses developed their ability to plan their own careers.
Results according to gender
An independent samples t-test was conducted to identify gender
differences for the factors of the SCEQ in Table 2.
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|Table 2: Results of Independent Samples T-Test for Student Perceptions of Teaching Quality by Gender
The mean GTS score of the male students was 24.83 compared
with 23.18 for females. Thus, there was no significant difference
found based on gender (p = 0.245). The mean CGS score
was 14.00 for females and 13.70 for males; this was not a significant
difference (p = 0.434). The mean AAS score for males was
8.22 compared with 7.92 for females, a difference that was not
significant (p = 0.657). The mean AWS score for females was
14.08 and 13.39 for males, a difference that was not significant
(p = 0.353). The mean GSS score was 25.39 for males and 23.67
for females; there was not a significant difference (p = 0.114).
Results according to graduated programme
A one-way ANOVA for independent samples was used to analyse
differences according to graduated programme. Descriptive
statistics collected from the SCEQ based on the graduated
programme are presented in Table 3.
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|Table 3: Descriptive Statistics of SCEQ Subscales Scores According to Graduated Programme
Math students recorded the highest scores in the GTS; health
sciences and sport sciences students recorded the highest
scores for the GSS when they expressed their perceptions
of education and teaching quality. All students recorded the
lowest scores for the AAS. When graduated programme scores
were compared to each other, math students gave the highest
scores in the GTS, CGS, and AWS. Health sciences students
recorded the highest scores for the AAS, and sport sciences
students gave the highest scores for the GSS.
According to the one-way ANOVA results, student perceptions
of teaching quality did not differ according to their graduated
programme (p > 0.005; Table 4).
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|Table 4: One-way ANOVA Results for Students Perceptions of Teaching Quality According to Graduated Programme
Student opinions about the definition of a quality course
The results indicate that students define course quality by
focusing on the content and context of the course (50 students),
teaching method and techniques (35 students), teacher
qualifications (8 students), and instructional technologies (8
students; Table 5).
Regarding the content and context of courses, 11 students
defined a quality course as a course without intensive content;
6 students stated that the course should be easily understandable;
5 students declared that any course where learning occurs
is an effective course; and another 5 reported that courses
must include useful content. In terms of teaching methods and
techniques, 16 students reported that teachers should communicate
with students effectively; 11 students believed that that student-centered activities should be preferred and students
should be supported for active participation, and 5 students
indicated that hands-on experience in a course is important. In
addition to these subthemes, 8 students indicated that teacher
characteristics affected course quality; 8 stated that teachers
should take advantage of instructional technologies and they
should use these tools effectively.
According to the students, a good lesson is one: that gives
importance to feedback, practice, and technology; that provides
the necessary information and the opportunity [for
teachers] to interact with students and provides them with
feedback; and in which learners can express themselves, are
active [participants] in the process, and can communicate well
with the instructor. If the knowledge and experience of the
teacher are good, then the lesson is good and productive.
Student opinions on course effectiveness in preparing students
for their professions
Student opinions regarding the quality of the courses in terms
of preparing students for a career in teaching were gathered,
and most of the students (44) believed that their coursework
prepared them for their profession (Table 6). Among the 74
participants, 11 students stated that their courses did not
prepare them for their profession, and 11 indicated that their
courses partially prepared them. When the explanations for
these answers were examined, 7 students stated that the programme
was intensive; 5 students declared that the courses
did not offer opportunities to put the lessons to practice.
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|Table 6: Student Opinions on Course Effectiveness in Preparing
Students for Their Professions
I think it partly prepared me. I do not think that very high-quality
transfer preparation is provided because the training process
is short and the participants are tired [after working] for
Student opinions about the overall quality of courses
Student perceptions about the overall quality of the courses
were evaluated. Of the 74 participants, 47 stated that the
course quality was good; 18 students indicated that some
courses were of good quality, while others were of poor quality;
and 6 students stated that the quality of the course were of
average quality (Table 7).
When the reasons for these answers were examined, 3 students
explained that they found the duration of the programme to be
too short; 3 students stated that some courses covered theory
mainly, and 2 students stated that course quality depended on
the teachers qualifications.
Student views on this issue:
I think that the professors who taught the courses devoted
themselves to their work.
It is a quality education system because it has developed my
analytical thinking, encouraged teamwork, and provided solutions
for the problems that we may encounter in the future.
It is pleasing that the level of education quality is not low
despite the excessive theoretical information covered.
Examples of high-quality courses
In terms of the courses that students found to be of good quality,
45 students found the Instructional Technology and Material
design course useful; 23 considered the Special Teaching
Methods course to be of high quality, and 20 found the Guidance
and Counselling course effective (Table 8). Other courses
that were mentioned were as follows: Teaching Principles and
Methods, Educational Psychology, Introduction to Educational
Sciences, Curriculum Development and Teaching in Education,
Developmental Psychology, and Measurement and Evaluation.
Eight students reported finding all courses to be of high quality.
Student perceptions of the strengths of the teacher training
When citing the strengths of the teacher training programme, teaching methods (24 students), teacher qualifications (21
students), and course content (7 students) were mentioned
(Table 9). For teaching methods, 10 students stated that their
courses were instructive and conducted in a guiding manner, 5
students stated that they preferred teachers who encouraged
active student participation, and 5 students indicated applied
teaching as the strength of the programme.
According to students:
Instructors have sufficient knowledge and equipment.
The availability of quality teaching staff, and the availability of
various teaching materials related to the courses [are strengths
of the programme].
Innovations in lessons are important.
Weaknesses of the programme
Among the study sample, 14 students considered there to be
no weaknesses in the programme (Table 10). However, others
mentioned a lack of practice opportunities (8 students),
evening courses (8 students), assessment methods relying on memorisation (5 students), intensive content (5 students),
crowded classrooms (5 students), ineffective materials (3 students),
lecture method (3 students), and inadequate teachers
Some students opinions were as follows:
The fact that some instructors are compressing a 4-year programme
to 13 weeks instead of giving summary information is
an information overload.
Some of the lessons are still taught by traditional methods.
Suggestions for improving programme quality
Twelve students stated that instructors should make use of
materials, visual aids or technology in their lessons (Table
11); 10 students wanted more student-centered activities;
8 students wanted the teacher to be sufficiently qualified; 6
students suggested smaller class sizes; and 5 students wanted
more practice opportunities. In addition, 5 students recommended
there be more communication between students
and instructors, 5 students wanted their instructors to use
teaching methods other than lecturing, and 5 students wanted
more interesting classes with less detailed content. Finally, 3
students stated the course should be connected to real life
experiences they might encounter as teachers.
According to the participants, the programme should be
improved as follows:
By enriching the lesson presentation, slides, and various materials.
Something must be done to make the classes more interesting.
The course must be associated with real life.
A solution would be to increase teacher-student collaboration
using a friendly approach.
There should be effective presentations and attention-grabbing
In this study, the perceptions of students who graduated from
different programmes in the teacher training programme
regarding education and teaching quality were examined. As
a result of the quantitative analyses carried out, it was found
that students perceptions of quality did not differ according
to their gender and graduated programme. However, in general,
male students perceptions of the teaching quality were
more positive in three subscales (i.e., GTS, AAS, and GSS) than
female students. Female students gave higher scores in two
dimensions (i.e., CGS and AWS) than male students. The results
indicate that students who graduated from sports sciences
have more positive perceptions of the certificate programmes
effect on their generic skills, but gave lower scores on appropriate
assessment in the certificate programme. Math students
have more positive perceptions of lecturers good teaching and
health sciences students have more positive perceptions of
appropriate assessment in certificate programme. AAS, which
expresses assessment methods, had the lowest education and
teaching quality perceptions of all students. Re-examination
of certification programme assessment methods may be an
important step towards increasing the quality of education
and teaching. In the literature, numerous studies explore the
factors affecting student perceptions of education and teaching
quality (Calvo et al., 2010; Akareem and Hossain, 2016).
Akareem and Hossain (2016) examined students demographic
and background information to identify differences in their
perceptions about the quality of education. They found that
factors such as the scholarship status of students, parents
education, and age have a significant influence on perceptions
of the quality of education. Calvo et al. (2016) found parallel
findings to the results of this study. They found that sub-discipline
and gender were not significantly related to students
learning experiences and perceptions about education and
teaching quality. Similarly, Başbay et al. (2009) concluded that
there were no differences in students attitudes towards the
teaching profession by either gender or department. Rowe (2003) stated that gender is not a decisive variable in the
perceptions of teaching quality, but that teacher characteristic
variables are more influential than student demographics.
While the average of the items regarding as having interesting
course content was high in the questionnaire for the factor
of good teaching, the qualitative data indicated the elements
of quality as content and context. In other words, content
and context, and the interesting course content are mutually
supportive findings. While the students in the questionnaire
focused on the item related to feedback, teaching methods
were found in the qualitative analysis as an overlapping finding.
Among the methods of teaching, feedback was a feature
mentioned across all methods.
The findings of this study show that students associate the quality
of a course with its content, context, teaching methods, and
techniques. Students want the course content to be deemed
useful to them, and at the same time, to be linked to real life.
This can be achieved by presenting theoretical and applied
knowledge in a balanced manner. Moreover, students prefer
a teaching method and techniques wherein they can engage
more actively. In fact, this result was found to be consistent
with the quantitative results. In the results of the questionnaire,
the students also focused on the teachers characteristics, and
teaching methods as most of the students confirmed feedback,
motivation and being a thoughtful teacher. The quality of a
course depends on the content being applied practically and
on teaching methods with a more student-centered approach.
Students learn in different ways and have different learning
styles (Clark, & Mayer, 2003). As such, student learning is a
dynamic process. Therefore, student-centric approaches have
been gaining importance in recent decades. Student-centered
learning focuses on student-centered workshops and group
projects that foster communication and collaboration among
students and teachers (Aguti, Walters, and Wills, 2014; Selwyn,
2014). Through student-centered learning, teachers allow
students to be active participants in their learning by building
and sharing knowledge (Avcı-Yücel, & Koçak-Usluel, 2016) and
creating connections between facts, ideas, and processes.
In this study, most students believed that the courses they
completed prepared them for their subsequent professional
roles. This qualitative result entirely supported by the results
gathered from the questionnaire items as most of the students
agreed that the courses developed their ability to plan their
careers. In terms of self-evaluation of the educational institution,
this should be considered good. However, according
to expectations of the students about effective courses, this
aspect should be improved.
According to students, effective courses are those in which
learning takes place. Completion of all course activities does
not guarantee that students are learning. According to the
participants of this study, effective courses should be practical,
far from the memorizing approach and they can use of visual
aids and technology. In fact, the reason for this appeared in the
quantitative dataset; Most of the students were more interested
in the course content presented differently. Moreover, technology support plays an important role in education. Integration
of technology into teacher training programmes can
help teachers integrate technology into their classes effectively
(Celik & Yesilyurt, 2013). This result seems to be effective in
determining the top quality course of students. Most students
listed the Instructional Technology and Material design course
as a high-quality course. The reason for this is that this course
is practical, covering materials that may be useful for their
teaching roles. In Seferoğlu, Yıldız, & Avcı-Yücels (2014) study
about quality in education, the same results were obtained.
Students in that study also favoured the Instructional Technology
and Material design course.
For the strengths of education in their department, students
favoured the teaching methods, teacher qualifications and
content of the course. Some weak points of the education
they got addressed some managerial issues; class time and
crowded classroom are problems that can be solved by the
management. There are educators and researchers approaching
the relationship between class size and student learning
with different perspectives. Student, course, and teacher characteristics
appear to affect the perceptions of students about
education and teaching quality (Goos & Salomons, 2017).
Students preferred varied teaching methods, a teacher with
adequate qualifications, and appropriate course content for
the strengths of education in their department. This is also supported
by the quantitative dataset; most of the students stated
that teachers were good at explaining concepts; they had given
them enough time to learn, motivated them and gave feedback.
Some weaknesses they highlighted pertained to issues
such as condensed coursework and crowded classrooms
problems that can be solved with effective management. In the
literature relationship between class size and student learning
was examined through different perspectives. In a study by
Heredia (2015), large class size has been considered as problematic
because it allows for few opportunities for students
to interact and revise lessons with their peers and teachers.
Calvo et al. (2010) found that class size and coordinators professional
development were significantly related to students
learning experiences about teaching quality. They suggested
that reducing class size (or the effects on students of large
class sizes) might improve the student learning experience.
Most suggestions for improving education and teaching quality
in this study were related to teachers and their qualifications.
Students emphasized the importance of teachers roles in content
and material design, as well as their teaching methods and
personality traits. Thus, the characteristics of teachers such as
their anticipation, beliefs, and attitudes can affect the quality
of the course. Research findings have confirmed the impact of
teacher quality on student learning (Calvo et al., 2010; Tamim,
Colburn, & Karp, 2016; Adnot, Dee, Katz, & Wyckoff, 2016).
Sadler, Sonnert, Coyle, Cook-Smith, and Miller (2013) examined
the influence of teacher knowledge on student learning.
They suggested that developing teacher candidates content
and pedagogical knowledge in the specific subjects they will
teach would improve education and teaching quality. Tamim et
al. (2016) emphasized the importance of defining pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge and skills, and professional
capacity for high-quality education and teaching.
The aim of the current study was to examine the perceptions
of students about education and teaching quality within a
teacher training programme. As a result of the quantitative
analyses carried out, it was found that students perceptions
of quality did not differ according to their gender or graduated
programme. The findings also showed that students define
course quality by focusing on the content and context of the
course, as well as its teaching methods and techniques. They
also define a course as being of high quality where it has useful
content, is compatible with real-life contexts, and is practical
and presents materials useful for their future profession.
This study provides clues about the expectations and understanding
of students about the quality of the learning environment,
including the areas in which they need support, and
those in which they feel competent. In this respect, university
administrators must take the lead in improving the quality of
education and teaching. These results also suggest that the
effects of class size, teaching methods and techniques, student-
centered learning, practical course content, visual aids,
technology, and teachers qualifications need to be considered.
The findings of this study should provide insights for teacher
training institutions and teaching staff.
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