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Accounting for exogenous influences in a benevolent performance evaluation of teachers

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  • Kristof DE WITTE
  • Nicky ROGGE

Abstract

Students’ evaluations of teacher performance (SETs) are increasingly used by universities and colleges for teaching improvement and decision making (e.g., promotion or tenure). However, SETs are highly controversial mainly due to two issues: (1) teachers value various aspects of excellent teaching differently, and, to be fair, (2) SETs should be determined solely by the teacher’s actual performance in the classroom, not by other influences (related to the teacher, the students or the course) which are not under his or her control. To account for these two issues, this paper constructs SETs using a specially tailored version of the popular non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach. In particular, in a so-called ‘Benefit of the doubt’ model we account for different values and interpretations that teachers attach to ‘good teaching’. Within this model, we reduce the impact of measurement errors and a-typical observations, and account explicitly for heterogeneous background characteristics arising from teacher, student and course characteristics. To show the potentiality of the method, we examine teacher performance for the Hogeschool Universiteit Brussel (located in Belgium). Our findings suggest that heterogeneous background characteristics play an important role in teacher performance.

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces09.13.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces09.13

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Keywords: Teacher performance; Data envelopment analysis; Conditional efficiency; Education.;

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References

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  1. Cinzia Daraio & Léopold Simar, 2007. "Conditional nonparametric frontier models for convex and nonconvex technologies: a unifying approach," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 13-32, October.
  2. Knox Lovell, C. A. & Pastor, Jesus T. & Turner, Judi A., 1995. "Measuring macroeconomic performance in the OECD: A comparison of European and non-European countries," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 507-518, December.
  3. Cazals, Catherine & Florens, Jean-Pierre & Simar, Leopold, 2002. "Nonparametric frontier estimation: a robust approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 1-25, January.
  4. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  5. Cinzia Daraio & Leopold Simar, 2003. "Introducing Environmental Variables in Nonparametric Frontier Models: a Probabilistic Approach," LEM Papers Series 2003/17, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  6. Zhou, P. & Ang, B.W. & Poh, K.L., 2007. "A mathematical programming approach to constructing composite indicators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 291-297, April.
  7. Rogge, Nicky, 2009. "Granting teachers the 'benefit of the doubt' in performance evaluations," Working Papers 2009/17, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  8. Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8355.
  9. M. Davies & J. Hirschberg & J. Lye & C. Johnston & I. McDonald, 2005. "Systematic Influences on Teaching Evaluations : The Case for Caution," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 953, The University of Melbourne.
  10. Michael A. McPherson, 2006. "Determinants of How Students Evaluate Teachers," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 3-20, January.
  11. Kristof DE WITTE & Mika KORTELAINEN, 2008. "Blaming the exogenous environment? Conditional efficiency estimation with continuous and discrete environmental variables," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0833, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  12. Laurens Cherchye & Willem Moesen & Nicky Rogge & Tom Puyenbroeck, 2007. "An Introduction to ‘Benefit of the Doubt’ Composite Indicators," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 111-145, May.
  13. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Rogge, Nicky & De Witte, Kristof, 2009. "To publish or not to publish? On the aggregation and drivers of research performance," Working Papers 2009/42, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  2. Rogge, Nicky, 2009. "Robust benevolent evaluations of teaching performance," Working Papers 2009/21, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.

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