Sunday, September 23, 2012

Low Grades Lead to Bad Student Evaluations and Vice Versa

An academic study confirms what you already suspected. From the Ottawa Citizen:

University professors have long suspected that students they assign a low grade get revenge by giving them a lousy rating on university evaluations or popular online sites such as Now, new research by University of Ottawa professor Tracy Vaillancourt has backed up those suspicions.

In the first study of its kind, Vaillancourt — the Canada Research Chair in Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention — found that students who received poor grades were 10 to 19 times more likely to make negative comments about their evaluator than those who received high grades.

The article describes the methodology.


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If university evaluations are done before grades are released, how is the evaluation revenge for poor grades? Of course, there are post-grade evaluation on sites such as ratemyprofessors but of what value are those sites? The bad pre-grade release evaluations reflect either genuinely bad teaching (it happens), or, more often than not, resentment about being required to do work rather than sit back and hear lectures as are one's friends in other courses.

Posted by: James Edward Maule | Sep 24, 2012 5:50:18 AM

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