Students Are Almost as Effective as Professors in University Teaching

59 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017

See all articles by Jan Feld

Jan Feld

Victoria University of Wellington - Victoria Business School

Nicolas Salamanca

University of Melbourne; IZA; University of Melbourne - ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course

Ulf Zölitz

University of Zurich; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 19, 2017

Abstract

Many universities around the world rely on student instructors — current bachelor’s and master’s degree students — for tutorial teaching, yet we know nothing about their effectiveness. In a setting with random assignment of instructors to students, we show that student instructors are almost as effective as senior instructors at improving their students’ short- and longer-run academic achievement and labor market outcomes. We find little heterogeneity across different course types, student characteristics, or instructors’ personal academic quality. Our results suggest that the use of student instructors can serve as an effective tool for universities to reduce their costs with negligible negative effects on students.

Keywords: Student Instructors, University, Teacher Performance

JEL Classification: I21, I24, J24

Suggested Citation

Feld, Jan and Salamanca, Nicolas and Zölitz, Ulf, Students Are Almost as Effective as Professors in University Teaching (September 19, 2017). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 23/17, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3039768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3039768

Jan Feld

Victoria University of Wellington - Victoria Business School ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef/about/staff/jan-feld

Nicolas Salamanca

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Melbourne - ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course ( email )

Ulf Zölitz (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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