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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady »

October 20, 2012

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Contingent Cassandra

That does seem like a not particularly valid, not to mention ethically questionable (since it wastes the students' time and perhaps reinforces the idea that teachers grade randomly) experiment. After all, anybody at pretty much any university who wants to investigate whether or not grades, other forms of teacher feedback, or both correlate with student eval scores in freshman comp (or any core course) has reams and reams of data potentially available to hir. It might take filling out some human subjects research forms, and figuring out some logistics, but the experiment you describe would have required that, too. I don't understand what the researchers thought they would accomplish by setting up the experiment the way they did.

Brandon

That is definitely weird. What we really seem to learn from this study is that you are more likely to get negative evaluations if you grade students in way that makes negative evaluations more reasonable.

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