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Do student evaluations of teaching depend on the distribution of expected grade?

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  • Horacio Matos-Diaz
  • James Ragan

Abstract

Prior research suggests that student evaluations of teaching may depend on the average grade expected in a class. We hypothesize that, because of risk aversion, student ratings also depend on the distribution of expected grades. As predicted, student ratings at the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamon are significantly and negatively related to the variance of expected grades, implying that faculty may be able to boost their student evaluations of teaching ratings by narrowing the grade distribution. Findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that weak students place the highest value on a tight distribution of expected grades.

Suggested Citation

  • Horacio Matos-Diaz & James Ragan, 2010. "Do student evaluations of teaching depend on the distribution of expected grade?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 317-330.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:18:y:2010:i:3:p:317-330 DOI: 10.1080/09645290903109444
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cho, Donghun & Baek, Wonyoung & Cho, Joonmo, 2015. "Why do good performing students highly rate their instructors? Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 172-179.
    2. Donghun Cho & Joonmo Cho, 2017. "Does More Accurate Knowledge of Course Grade Impact Teaching Evaluation?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 224-240.
    3. Benjamin Artz & David M. Welsch, 2013. "The Effect of Student Evaluations on Academic Success," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 100-119.
    4. Joe Hirschberg & Jenny Lye, 2014. "The influence of student experiences on post-graduation surveys," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1187, The University of Melbourne.

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