Do you care about student teaching evaluations? Read the 2nd to last sentence (and the whole article)

From “Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors” by Scott E. Carrell and James E. West.

Results show that there are statistically significant and sizable differences in student achievement across introductory course professors in both contemporaneous and follow‐on course achievement. However, our results indicate that professors who excel at promoting contemporaneous student achievement, on average, harm the subsequent performance of their students in more advanced classes. Academic rank, teaching experience, and terminal degree status of professors are negatively correlated with contemporaneous value‐added but positively correlated with follow‐on course value‐added. Hence, students of less experienced instructors who do not possess a doctorate perform significantly better in the contemporaneous course but perform worse in the follow‐on related curriculum.Student evaluations are positively correlated with contemporaneous professor value‐added and negatively correlated with follow‐on student achievement. That is, students appear to reward higher grades in the introductory course but punish professors who increase deep learning introductory course professor value‐added in follow‐on courses. Since many U.S. colleges and universities use student evaluations as a measurement of teaching quality for academic promotion and tenure decisions, this latter finding draws into question the value and accuracy of this practice.

via JSTOR: Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 118, No. 3 June 2010, pp. 409-432.  HT: Bill Sundstrom

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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2 Responses to Do you care about student teaching evaluations? Read the 2nd to last sentence (and the whole article)

  1. Anonymous says:

    As a student, I do not look at Prof review to decide whether or not to take the class. In my experience teachers who grade easier or who only teach introductory stuffs will get better review than those who try to actually teach something. I am paying for school to actually learn and I don’t care about easy grades. I rather take classes from professor who are rated hard because I tend to learn more from those..but I know not everyone thinks that way.

  2. mkevane says:

    Agreed! As a professor I wish every student was like you!

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