Evaluating Methods for Evaluating Instruction: The Case of Higher Education
This paper develops an original measure of learning in higher education, based on grades in subsequent courses. Using this measure of learning, this paper shows that student evaluations are positively related to current grades but unrelated to learning once current grades are controlled. It offers evidence that the weak relationship between learning and student evaluations arises, in part, because students are unaware of how much they have learned in a course. The paper concludes with a discussion of easily-implemented, optimal methods for evaluating teaching.
We are grateful for comments from Tisha Emerson, Eric Fisher, and Hajime Miyazaki, seminar participants at Ohio State University and especially members of The Ohio State University Undergraduate Economics Society, and participants at the 2007 American Economic Association Meetings and the 2007 NBER Higher Education Program Meetings. We are also grateful for detailed comments from the editor, Peter Kennedy and three anonymous referees. We thank Xueyu Cheng,Young-Kyu Moh, and Kent Zhao for able research assistance and John-David Slaughter assistance with data assembly and the Registrar at Ohio State University for data. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Weinberg, Bruce A., Belton M. Fleisher and Masanori Hashimoto. “Evaluating Teaching in Higher Education.” Journal of Economic Education 40 (No. 3, 2009): 227-261.