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Determinants of How Students Evaluate Teachers


  • Michael A. McPherson


Abstract : Convincingly establishing the determinants of student evaluation of teaching (SET) scores has been elusive, largely because of inadequate statistical methods and a paucity of data. The author uses a much larger time span than in any previous research—607 economics classes over 17 semesters. This permits a proper treatment of unobserved heterogeneity. Results indicate that instructors can buy higher SET scores by awarding higher grades. In principles classes, the level of experience of the instructor and the class size are found to be significant determinants of SET scores. In upper-division classes, the type of student and the response rate matter. In both types of classes, factors specific to courses, instructors, and time periods are important; adjustments of scores to remove these influences may be warranted.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:37:y:2006:i:1:p:3-20
    DOI: 10.3200/JECE.37.1.3-20

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