Understanding Undergraduate Course Consideration

Posted: 8 Aug 2019 Last revised: 14 Oct 2019

See all articles by Sorathan Chaturapruek

Sorathan Chaturapruek

Stanford University

Ramesh Johari

Stanford University

René Kizilcec

Cornell University

Mitchell Stevens

Stanford University - School of Education

Michael Bernstein

Stanford University

Sara Cina

Institutional Research & Decision Support, Stanford University

Monique Harrison

Stanford University

Arik Lifschitz

Stanford University

John Mitchell

Computer Science Department, Stanford University

Andreas Paepcke

Computer Science Department, Stanford University

Marissa Thompson

Stanford University

Date Written: August 4, 2019

Abstract

In elective curriculums, undergraduates are encouraged to consider a range of academic courses for possible enrollment each term, yet course consideration has not been explicitly theorized and is difficult to observe. We develop a conceptual framework and a novel web-based mechanism for observing consideration, and use them to study consideration among an entire cohort of students at a private university between 2016-2018. Our findings reveal (1) substantial winnowing from available to considered courses; (2) homogeneous consideration set sizes regardless of students’ subsequent majors; and (3) heterogeneous consideration set compositions correlated with subsequent majors. Our work demonstrates that course consideration is an empirically demonstrable component of course selection and suggests mechanisms for intervening in consideration to support informed choice and efficient academic progress.

Keywords: higher education, academic consideration, decision-making

JEL Classification: I23

Suggested Citation

Chaturapruek, Sorathan and Johari, Ramesh and Kizilcec, René and Stevens, Mitchell and Bernstein, Michael and Cina, Sara and Harrison, Monique and Lifschitz, Arik and Mitchell, John and Paepcke, Andreas and Thompson, Marissa, Understanding Undergraduate Course Consideration (August 4, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3432748 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3432748

Sorathan Chaturapruek (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Ramesh Johari

Stanford University ( email )

473 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305-9025
United States

René Kizilcec

Cornell University ( email )

208 Gates Hall
107 Hoy Rd
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Mitchell Stevens

Stanford University - School of Education ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-3096
United States

Michael Bernstein

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Sara Cina

Institutional Research & Decision Support, Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
6504981568 (Phone)

Monique Harrison

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Arik Lifschitz

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

John Mitchell

Computer Science Department, Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
6507238634 (Phone)

Andreas Paepcke

Computer Science Department, Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
6507239684 (Phone)

Marissa Thompson

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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