ERIC Number: EJ1003699
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
Single Comments or Average Ratings: Which Elements of RateMyProfessors.com[TM] Shape University Students' Judgments and Course Choice Intentions?
Scherr, Sebastian; Muller, Philipp; Fast, Victoria
Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, v25 n2 p131-141 May 2013
The use and abuse of course and lecturer rating websites such as RateMyProfessors.com[TM] is a highly relevant topic for universities' evaluation and assessment policies and practice. However, only a few studies have paid attention to the actual influence of teaching evaluation websites on the students themselves--that is, their perceptions of a certain course and their course choice intention at university. Findings point to the fact that positive comments on the website about professors improve students' evaluations. However, professor evaluation websites contain two types of information: single student comments and average ratings. Research on exemplification effects has shown that single cases often have a stronger influence on recipients than more valid base rate information. We test this assumption in an experiment (n = 126) using a professor evaluation website stimulus. Results show that single comments strongly influence opinions and course choice intentions but that they are moderated by the valence of the average rating.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Teacher Evaluation, College Faculty, Web Sites, Course Evaluation, Intention, Course Selection (Students)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A