Whose Opinion is it Anyway? Determinants of Participation in Student Evaluation of Teaching
Journal of Economic Education, Forthcoming
22 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2010
Date Written: August 27, 2009
Using data that identify the respondents to Student Evaluation of Teaching, the author finds that respondents and nonrespondents are different, along several characteristics. Students respond more if they are first-term freshmen, or if the course is a major requirement. Men, students with light course load, and students with low CGPA or low course grade are less likely to evaluate the course and the instructor. A matched pairs test that effectively eliminates class- and instructor-invariant student characteristics confirms that students who do better in a course are more likely to participate in SET. In addition, students who are more likely to have strong opinions, identified by early participation, hold on average positive views towards the course. These results do not support the idea that SET attracts disproportionally more unhappy students. Given the widely documented positive correlation between grades and ratings, these findings suggest that SET ratings can be biased upward.
Keywords: student evaluation, grades, response bias
JEL Classification: A20, A22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation