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Effects of class size on alternative educational outcomes across disciplines

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  • Cheng, Dorothy A.
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    Abstract

    This is the first study to use self-reported ratings of student learning, instructor recommendations, and course recommendations as the outcome measure to estimate class size effects, doing so across 24 disciplines. Fixed-effects models controlling for heterogeneous courses and instructors reveal that increasing enrollment has negative and significant effects on student satisfaction in Sociology, Political Science, Computer Science and Engineering, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Educational outcomes in Linguistics, Psychology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Cognitive Sciences, Visual Arts, History, and Philosophy are unaffected by class size. Other disciplines, including Economics, have inconclusive findings. No discipline benefits from increasing enrollment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 980-990

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:980-990

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

    Related research

    Keywords: Class size Student evaluations Student learning College quality Student satisfaction;

    References

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    1. Elchanan Cohn & Eric Johnson, 2006. "Class Attendance and Performance in Principles of Economics," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 211-233.
    2. Bandiera, Oriana & Larcinese, Valentino & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Heterogeneous Class Size Effects: New Evidence from a Panel of University Students," IZA Discussion Papers 4496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. David Romer, 1993. "Do Students Go to Class? Should They?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-174, Summer.
    4. Alan Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Working Papers 826, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Krautmann, Anthony C. & Sander, William, 1999. "Grades and student evaluations of teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-63, February.
    6. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Paul Isely & Harinder Singh, 2005. "Do Higher Grades Lead to Favorable Student Evaluations?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 29-42, January.
    8. Kokkelenberg, Edward C. & Dillon, Michael & Christy, Sean M., 2008. "The effects of class size on student grades at a public university," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 221-233, April.
    9. Bedard, Kelly & Kuhn, Peter, 2008. "Where class size really matters: Class size and student ratings of instructor effectiveness," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 253-265, June.
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