Systematic Influences on Teaching Evaluations: The Case for Caution

35 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2006

See all articles by Martin Davies

Martin Davies

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Joe Hirschberg

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Jenny N. Lye

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Carol Georgina Johnston

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Ian M. McDonald

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

In this paper we examine 8 years of Quality of Teaching (QOT) responses from an Economics Department in an Australian University. This is done to determine what factors besides the instructor have an impact on the raw average student evaluation scores. Most of the previous research on student ratings has been conducted in the United States. One significant difference between US and Australian tertiary education is that on average the number of foreign undergraduate students is 10 times the number in US institutions. We find that cultural background significantly impacts on student evaluations. Other factors that have an influence on the average QOT score include: year level, enrolment size, the quantitative nature of the subject, gender of the students, their fee paying status by gender, their course of study, the differential in their mark from previous marks, quality of workbook, quality of textbook and the relative QOT score versus other subjects taught at the same time. In addition, the average of QOT scores after instructors have taught in a mix of subjects gives similar results to adjusting the QOT scores to account for subject and student characteristics.

Keywords: Teaching evaluations, foreign students, teaching economics

JEL Classification: A20, C21

Suggested Citation

Davies, Martin and Hirschberg, Joseph G. and Lye, Jenny N. and Johnston, Carol Georgina and McDonald, Ian M., Systematic Influences on Teaching Evaluations: The Case for Caution (May 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=917942 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.917942

Martin Davies (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

Joseph G. Hirschberg

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Victoria 3010, 3010
Australia

Jenny N. Lye

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

Carol Georgina Johnston

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

Ian M. McDonald

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

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