Selection Bias in Students' Evaluation of Teaching:Causes of Student Absenteeism and Its Consequences for Course Ratings and Rankings

Journal article
(Original article)


Publication Details

Author(s): Wolbring T, Treischl E
Journal: Research in Higher Education
Publication year: 2016
Journal issue: 57
Pages range: 51–71
ISSN: 0361-0365
Language: English


Abstract


Systematic sampling error due to self-selection is a common topic in

methodological research and a key challenge for every empirical study. Since selection

bias is often not sufficiently considered as a potential flaw in research on and evaluations in

higher education, the aim of this paper is to raise awareness for the topic using the case of

students’ evaluations of teaching (SET). First, we describe students’ selection decisions at

different points of their studies and elaborate potential biases which they might cause for

SET. Then we empirically illustrate the problem and report findings from a design with

two measurement points in time showing that approximately one third of the students do

not attend class at the second time of measurement, when the regular SET takes place.

Furthermore, the results indicate that the probability of absenteeism is influenced by course

quality, students’ motivation, course topic, climate among course participants, course- and

workload, and timing of the course. Although data are missing not at random, average

ratings do not strongly change after adjusting for selection bias. However, we find substantial

changes in rankings based on SET. We conclude from this that, at least as regards

selection bias, SET are a reliable instrument to assess quality of teaching at the individual

level but are not suited for the comparison of courses.



FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Treischl, Edgar
Lehrstuhl für Empirische Wirtschaftssoziologie
Wolbring, Tobias Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Empirische Wirtschaftssoziologie


Additional Organisation
Lehrstuhl für Empirische Wirtschaftssoziologie


How to cite

APA:
Wolbring, T., & Treischl, E. (2016). Selection Bias in Students' Evaluation of Teaching:Causes of Student Absenteeism and Its Consequences for Course Ratings and Rankings. Research in Higher Education, 57, 51–71. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11162-015-9378-7

MLA:
Wolbring, Tobias, and Edgar Treischl. "Selection Bias in Students' Evaluation of Teaching:Causes of Student Absenteeism and Its Consequences for Course Ratings and Rankings." Research in Higher Education 57 (2016): 51–71.

BibTeX: 

Last updated on 2018-11-08 at 01:55