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Effects of class size on alternative educational outcomes across disciplines

  • Cheng, Dorothy A.
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    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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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775711000641
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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    1. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803, August.
    2. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F34-F63, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Bandiera, Oriana & Larcinese, Valentino & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Heterogeneous Class Size Effects: New Evidence from a Panel of University Students," CEPR Discussion Papers 7512, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Elchanan Cohn & Eric Johnson, 2006. "Class Attendance and Performance in Principles of Economics," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 211-233.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. David Romer, 1993. "Do Students Go to Class? Should They?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-174, Summer.
    9. Krautmann, Anthony C. & Sander, William, 1999. "Grades and student evaluations of teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-63, February.
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