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Methods for Evaluating Educational Programs – Does Writing Center Participation Affect Student Achievement?

  • Julia Bredtmann

    ()

  • Carsten J. Crede
  • Sebastian Otten

This paper evaluates the eff ectiveness of the introduction of a Writing Center at a university. The center has the purpose to provide subject-specifi c courses that aim to improve students‘ abilities of scientifi c writing. In order to deal with presumed selfperceptional biases of students in feedback surveys, we use diff erent quantitative evaluation methods and compare the results to corresponding qualitative student surveys. Based on this evaluation, we present and discuss the validity of the approaches to evaluate educational programs. Although almost all students reported the writing courses to be helpful, we fi nd no signifi cant eff ect of course participation on students‘ grades. We attribute the diff erence in the results between quantitative methods and qualitative surveys to the inappropriateness of student course evaluations for assessing the eff ectiveness of educational measures.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0275.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0275
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  1. Charles Ballard & Marianne Johnson, 2005. "Gender, Expectations, And Grades In Introductory Microeconomics At A Us University," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 95-122.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 1, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  3. 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, vol. 35(1), pages 37-51.
  4. 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, 03.
  5. Costas Meghir & MÃ¥rten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Susan M. Dynarski, 1999. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," NBER Working Papers 7422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Schlotter, Martin & Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2010. "Econometric Methods for Causal Evaluation of Education Policies and Practices: A Non-Technical Guide," IZA Discussion Papers 4725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, June.
  9. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren & David P. Sims, 2010. "The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 915-943.
  10. Scott E. Carrell & James E. West, 2010. "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 409-432, 06.
  11. Gregory A. Krohn & Catherine M. O'Connor, 2005. "Student Effort and Performance over the Semester," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 3-28, January.
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