Factors That Affect Teaching Scores in Economics Instruction: Analysis of Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) Data
This paper explores the factors that affect students’ evaluations of economics instructions using a sample of over 2400 completed questionnaires at a large Australian university. Ordered probit analysis is used to determine the changes in the predicted probability of teaching evaluation (TEVAL) scores with variations, amongst other things, in students’ perceptions of the quality of presentation; explanation and organization of lecture material; and helping students improve their learning skills. Analyses of the comparative importance of the relationships both for undergraduate and postgraduate courses reveal significant differences across levels of the undergraduate program but little differences in students’ responses in higher level undergraduate and postgraduate instructions. One disturbing finding is that a key variable, namely emphasis on thinking rather than memorizing (THINKMEM) has little or no substantive impact on TEVAL. Thus the implication is that high TEVALs can be achieved at the cost of some critically important factors in teaching and learning. Consequently, those using just TEVAL score to evaluate teaching need to look closely at other factors of critical importance.
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