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Comparing Student and Instructor Evaluations of Teaching


  • William Bosshardt
  • Michael Watts


Most economics departments use end-of-term student evaluations of teaching, but the relationship between instructors' assessments of their own teaching and their students' assessments is unknown. The background survey for the nationally normed Test of Understanding in College Economics asked students and instructors to evaluate the instructor on five identical items. Using these data, the authors found that for instructors who speak English as their native language, speaking ability and enthusiasm are closely linked to self-ratings of teaching effectiveness. Students also value these traits but care more about instructors' preparation for class. Grading rigor is more important to students of instructors who speak English as a second language.

Suggested Citation

  • William Bosshardt & Michael Watts, 2001. "Comparing Student and Instructor Evaluations of Teaching," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 3-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:32:y:2001:i:1:p:3-17 DOI: 10.1080/00220480109595166

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cooper, Russell & DeJong, Douglas V. & Forsythe, Robert & Ross, Thomas W., 1996. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 187-218, February.
    2. Dawes, Robyn M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "Anomalies: Cooperation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 187-197, Summer.
    3. C. Monica Capra, 1999. "Anomalous Behavior in a Traveler's Dilemma?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 678-690, June.
    4. Roth, Alvin E, 1988. "Laboratory Experimentation in Economics: A Methodological Overview," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 974-1031, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Davies & Joe Hirschberg & Jenny Lye & Carol Johnston & Ian Mcdonald, 2007. "Systematic Influences On Teaching Evaluations: The Case For Caution ," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 18-38, March.
    2. Horacio Matos-Díaz & Alfred J. Crouch Ruiz, 2008. "¿Es sesgada la evaluación estudiantil? El caso de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Bayamón," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 10(18), pages 241-260, January-J.
    3. Franklin G. Mixon & Richard J. Cebula (ed.), 2014. "New Developments in Economic Education," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15538.
    4. Gorry, Devon, 2017. "The impact of grade ceilings on student grades and course evaluations: Evidence from a policy change," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 133-140.
    5. Bruce A. Weinberg & Belton M. Fleisher & Masanori Hashimoto, 2007. "Evaluating Methods for Evaluating Instruction: The Case of Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 12844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Joe Hirschberg & Jenny Lye & Martin Davies & Carol Johnston, 2011. "Measuring Student Experience: Relationships between Teaching Quality Instruments (TQI) and Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1134, The University of Melbourne.
    7. Yoav Gal & Adiv Gal, 2014. "Knowledge Bias: Is There a Link Between Students’ Feedback and the Grades They Expect to Get from the Lecturers They Have Evaluated? A Case Study of Israeli Colleges," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 5(3), pages 597-615, September.
    8. Nilss Olekalns, 2002. "The Teaching of First Year Economics in Australian Universities," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 848, The University of Melbourne.

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