January 29, 2007

New Questions on Student Evaluations

Inner-article:  "The way the Ohio State team did this was to look at grades
in subsequent classes that would have relied on the learning in the class in
which the students' evaluations were studied. Their finding: no correlation
between professor evaluations and the learning that is actually taking

In another finding of concern, the study found evidence that students -
controlling for other factors - tend to give lesser evaluations to
instructors who are women or who were born outside the United States. And
they found this despite not finding any correlation between instructor
identity and the level of learning that took place.

While there may be ways to improve the reliability of student evaluations,
the authors write, "we believe that any student evaluations are best used in
conjunction with peer reviews of teaching."

The study was just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research. (An
abstract is available <>  here, where the
paper may also be downloaded for $5.) The authors are Bruce A. Weinberg,
Belton M. Fleisher and Masanori Hashimoto."

Continue to article and several comments, at this time:



    Sudden departure of head of federal office seen as evidence of

    aggressive political push by Education Department leaders.


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