This study was conducted in two public universities in Ethiopia to assess the impact of conceptions of teaching and learning on the evaluation of teaching quality. Students' and teachers' approaches to teaching and learning and their conceptions of the meaning of teaching have been examined. Results indicated that both teachers and students predominantly perceive teaching as transmitting knowledge and assessment as recall of factual knowledge. For the students, the mean values for teaching as transmitting knowledge and assessment as recall of facts were significantly correlated. The experiences and conceptions of both teachers and students reflect a teacher-focused approach to teaching and learning. The teaching evaluation questionnaire also reflects teacher performance as indicator of effectiveness. Improving the measure should be considered as a means of changing teachers' and students' conceptions of teaching and learning. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.