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What Determines Student Evaluation Scores? A Random Effects Analysis of Undergraduate Economics Classes

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  • Michael A McPherson

    (Department of Economics, University of North Texas, PO Box 311457, Denton, TX 76203-1457, USA)

  • R Todd Jewell

    (Department of Economics, University of North Texas, PO Box 311457, Denton, TX 76203-1457, USA)

  • Myungsup Kim

    (Department of Economics, University of North Texas, PO Box 311457, Denton, TX 76203-1457, USA)

Abstract

Student evaluation scores are a standard component of the way colleges and universities assess the quality of an instructor's teaching for purposes of promotion and tenure, as well as merit raise allocations. This paper applies a feasible generalized least squares model to a panel of data from undergraduate economics classes. We find that instructors can “buy” better evaluation scores by inflating students’ grade expectations. Class size and instructor experience are important determinants of evaluation scores in principles classes, but not in upper-level courses. Male instructors get better scores than females, and younger instructors are more popular than older ones. Certain other factors are also important determinants of evaluation scores. Our results suggest that an adjustment to the usual departmental rankings may be useful. Eastern Economic Journal (2009) 35, 37–51. doi:10.1057/palgrave.eej.9050042

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A McPherson & R Todd Jewell & Myungsup Kim, 2009. "What Determines Student Evaluation Scores? A Random Effects Analysis of Undergraduate Economics Classes," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 37-51.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:35:y:2009:i:1:p:37-51
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bredtmann, Julia & Crede, Carsten J. & Otten, Sebastian, 2013. "Methods for evaluating educational programs: Does Writing Center Participation affect student achievement?," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 115-123.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0275 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:reihed:v:58:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11162-016-9429-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Anna Salomons & Maarten Goos, 2014. "Measuring Teaching Quality in Higher Education : Assessing the Problem of Selection Bias in Course Evaluations," Working Papers 14-16, Utrecht School of Economics.
    5. Lütkenhöner, Laura, 2013. "Können sich Hochschuldozenten bessere studentische Lehrevaluationen "erkaufen"?," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 7/2013, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    6. Ali Palali & Roel van Elk & Jonneke Bolhaar & Iryna Rud, 2017. "Are good researchers also good teachers? The relationship between research quality and teaching quality," CPB Discussion Paper 347, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    7. Donghun Cho & Joonmo Cho, 2017. "Does More Accurate Knowledge of Course Grade Impact Teaching Evaluation?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(2), pages 224-240, Spring.

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