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Teaching Development Tools

Teaching Development - Evaluation Tools

Classroom Climate Inventory

Purpose:

This instrument was developed to give instructors input on the actual climate within a class in order to evaluate how conducive that atmosphere is to learning. No one questions that the context in which learning takes place influences directly the kind and quality of learning which occurs. Most instructors work to create a constructive and positive classroom climate. This form offers input as to how well an instructor is accomplishing this objective. Moreover, the form can also be used to give an instructor input on the kind of classroom climate students prefer. Knowing something about the climate students prefer and knowing something about their reaction to the actual climate in this class gives the instructor a clear sense of where changes might need to be made. The questionnaire is designed for use in small classes, seminars, or tutorials. It is not suitable for rating lecture or laboratory classes.

Administration:

Distribute copies of the form to students explaining why you are interested in this information and what you intend to do with the results. The version of the form that follows includes instructions if the form is to be used to assess student reactions to the actual environment of a given course. If you wish to use the form to get input as the environment students prefer, change the directions to read: "The purpose of this questionnaire is to find out your opinions about the classroom environments you prefer. Indicate your opinion …" Also adjust the scale descriptions to read "that it describes the classroom environment you prefer." As with other forms in this collection, interesting comparisons can be made if the instructor completes the form along with the students.

Interpretation:

Following the instrument are scoring instructions. If you intend to complete the form yourself, do not read further.

After you and the students have completed the instrument, consult the scoring sheet. Note first that the numbers of some of the items on the scoring sheet are underlined. Those items are worded negatively which means they must be scored by reversing the scale. The second formula in Step I does this for you--allowing you then to interpret all the scores on a single scale. The form offers input about the classroom climate in seven different areas. Following the instructions on the scoring sheet, go ahead and score the individual items. We encourage you to look at the categories, noting which ones you scored highly on or regard as especially important aspects of the instructional climate. Student assessments in those areas might be more important and relevant in light of your objectives or course goals. Results which compare students' actual assessment of the climate and their preferred classroom environments should also be looked at for general trends and major differences. You might spend time considering or discussing with students ways the climate in the class might be changed. What could you do differently? What could the students change?

Source:

This instrument was developed by Barry J. Fraser, David F. Treagust, and Norman C. Dennis of Western Australian Institute of Technology. Research describing the development and validation of the instrument appears in Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1986. The instrument is reprinted with their permission.

Click here to download a copy of the Classroom Climate Inventory.