Expected grade covariation with student ratings of instruction: Individual versus class effects

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Numerous studies have examined the relationship between grades and student ratings of instruction in order to help determine whether students can provide unbiased appraisals. The results of these studies have been inconsistent, and there has been little explanation of the diverse findings. Analysis of the previous research suggests that some of the variability in results can be explained by distinguishing between individual and class effects. The present study directly compared individual and class effects using large samples of both undergraduate and graduate students (Ns = 5,893 and 21,648, respectively). Class effects were generally stronger than individual effects, and the statistical manipulation involved in changing units of analysis did not account for this difference. This suggests that the grades-rating relationships may be attributable to different elements in the rating process for each level of analysis. (51 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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