Nudging Student Participation in Online Evaluations of Teaching: Evidence from a Field Experiment

39 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2020 Last revised: 30 Nov 2021

See all articles by Susanne Neckermann

Susanne Neckermann

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Uyanga Turmunkh

IESEG School of Management (IESEG) - Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods; LEM-CNRS 9221 (LEM)

Dennie van Dolder

University of Essex - Department of Economics

Tong V. Wang

Dongbei University of Finance and Economics - Institute for Advanced Economic Research

Date Written: November 26, 2021

Abstract

This paper reports the results of a large randomized field experiment that investigates the extent to which nudges can stimulate student participation in teaching evaluations. The three nudges that we used were designed to either: (1) heighten students’ perceived impact of teaching evaluations, (2) communicate a descriptive norm of high participation, and (3) use the commitment-consistency principle by asking students to commit to participation. We find that none of the nudges were effective: all treatment effects are insignificant and close to zero in magnitude. Exploring heterogeneous treatment effects, we find evidence that the effectiveness of both the impact and commitment treatments differed across students. The impact treatment had a negative effect on the participation of bachelor-level students, but not on that of master-level students. The commitment treatment increased participation among students with good average grades, whereas it decreased participation for students whose average grades were poor.

Keywords: nudges, social norms, descriptive norm, commitment, student evaluation of teaching, participation, response rates, field experiment

JEL Classification: D90, D91, H41, I20

Suggested Citation

Neckermann, Susanne and Turmunkh, Uyanga and van Dolder, Dennie and Wang, Tong, Nudging Student Participation in Online Evaluations of Teaching: Evidence from a Field Experiment (November 26, 2021). European Economic Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3672226 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3672226

Susanne Neckermann

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Uyanga Turmunkh (Contact Author)

IESEG School of Management (IESEG) - Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods ( email )

3 Rue de la Digue
Lille, 59000
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.uyangaturmunkh.net

LEM-CNRS 9221 (LEM) ( email )

Lille
France

Dennie Van Dolder

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Tong Wang

Dongbei University of Finance and Economics - Institute for Advanced Economic Research ( email )

217 Jianshan Street
Dalian, Liaoning 116025
China

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