Methodological Explanations for the Modest Effects of Feedback From Student Ratings

  • L'Hommedieu R
  • Menges R
  • Brinko K
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Abstract

A recently completed review and statistical integration of the quantitative research on the feedback college teachers get from student ratings (R. L'Hommedieu et al, unpublished manuscript) yielded an overall effect size of .342. This indicated a persistent positive effect for feedback, but this small difference has modest practical significance. Why has this intuitively appealing approach to instructional improvement been so unimpressive in empirical tests? Using T. D. Cook and D. T. Campbell's (1979) threats-to-validity framework, we examine methodological and conceptual issues in the areas of internal validity, statistical conclusion validity, external validity, and construct validity. Most of these threats are likely to attenuate the measured effects of student ratings feedback—effects that actually may be stronger than existing research shows. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • Randi L'Hommedieu

  • Robert J. Menges

  • Kathleen T. Brinko

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