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

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  • Bredtmann, Julia
  • Crede, Carsten J.
  • Otten, Sebastian

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the introduction of a Writing Center at a university. The center has the purpose to provide subject-specific courses that aim to improve students' abilities of scientific writing. In order to deal with presumed selfperceptional biases of students in feedback surveys, we use different 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 effect of course participation on students' grades. We attribute the difference in the results between quantitative methods and qualitative surveys to the inappropriateness of student course evaluations for assessing the effectiveness of educational measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Bredtmann, Julia & Crede, Carsten J. & Otten, Sebastian, 2011. "Methods for Evaluating Educational Programs – Does Writing Center Participation Affect Student Achievement?," Ruhr Economic Papers 275, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:275
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    11. 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.
    12. 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;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 37-51.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Performance evaluation; educational programs; student evaluation; empirical methods; Performance evaluation; educational programs; student evaluation; empirical methods;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

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