ERIC Number: ED394440
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Student and Course Factors Predicting Satisfaction in Undergraduate Courses at Harvard University.
Civian, Janet T.; Brennan, Robert T.
This study investigated predictors of Harvard University (Massachusetts) student ratings of courses. Data were drawn from 33,180 evaluations of 1,114 undergraduate courses in 47 departments. Predictors examined at the student level included satisfaction with the course, perceived course difficulty, whether the course was in the student's major, whether the course was required, and whether or not the student was a freshman. Course-level variables included mean student rating of difficulty, proportion of students who were majors, proportion of students taking the course as a requirement, proportion of students who were freshmen, course size, faculty rank, course format, and whether the course was introductory. Hierarchical linear modeling of the data found that factors positively influencing course satisfaction included: social sciences/humanities/core curriculum courses; higher level of difficulty; high proportion of majors; tutorial courses; course taught by an assistant or associate professor; and being in a freshman class with few freshmen. Factors found to have a negative influence on satisfaction included: math/science courses; high proportion of students taking the course as a requirement; and being in a math/science course and finding it more difficult than others. The rating form and statistical summaries are appended. (Contains 11 references.) (MSE)
Descriptors: Academic Rank (Professional), Class Size, College Faculty, Course Evaluation, Course Organization, Degree Requirements, Departments, Difficulty Level, Higher Education, Majors (Students), Participant Satisfaction, Predictor Variables, Student Attitudes, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Undergraduate Study
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Harvard University MA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).