Leniency, learning, and evaluations

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Comments that previous studies have yielded mixed results concerning the relationships between the amount students learn, instructor leniency, and student evaluations of instructors. One reason for the conflicting results is that grades and learning are highly correlated, and the effect of leniency and learning have not yet been separated precisely. A 3-equation model is presented that disentangles learning from leniency and relates the results to evaluations. The 1st equation measures the impact of each instructor on the amount of knowledge students have acquired; the 2nd measures the leniency of the instructor; the 3rd relates these 2 measures to student evaluations of instructors. For a sample of 617 undergraduates in 14 sections of a course, there was no significant relationship between either leniency or learning and evaluations. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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