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The impact of question format in principles of economics classes: Evidence from New Zealand

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  • Stephen Hickson
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    Abstract

    This study investigates whether question format disadvantages certain types of students. I use assessment data compiled from principles of economics classes at the University of Canterbury from 2002-2008. I combine these with administrative data on student characteristics to create a comprehensive dataset of over 20,000 observations. To control for student ability, I use a battery of measures of student performance in non-economics classes. In the absence of controls for student ability, I find that question format appears to have a significant impact on student performance. These mostly disappear when student ability variables are added. The major exceptions are student characteristics associated with language: I find that non-native English speakers are relatively disadvantaged by constructed response questions even after controlling for student ability.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00779954.2010.522165
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal New Zealand Economic Papers.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 269-287

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:nzecpp:v:44:y:2010:i:3:p:269-287

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    Related research

    Keywords: principles of economics assessment; multiple choice; constructed response; free response; essay;

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