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

26 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2020

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

VU Amsterdam - School of Business and Economics; Tinbergen Institute; Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) - University of Nottingham

Tong V. Wang

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Date Written: August 12, 2020

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. Three different nudges were tested:

(1) heightening students’ perceived impact of teaching evaluations,

(2) communicating a descriptive norm of high participation, and

(3) using the commitment-consistency principle by asking students to commit to participation.

We find that none of the nudges was effective: all treatment effects were insignificant and close to zero in magnitude. Exploring heterogeneous treatment effects, we find evidence that the effectiveness of the commitment treatment differed across students: it increased participation among students with good average grades, whereas it decreased participation for students whose grades were poor. Overall, our results add to the body of evidence that demonstrates that nudges may not always be as effective as suggested in the literature.

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 (August 12, 2020). 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

VU Amsterdam - School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) - University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Tong Wang

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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