One in Three Students Lie on Professor Evaluations Mainly “to Punish Professors They Don’t Like”

(p. 6B) CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Students aren’t always truthful on teacher evaluations, according to a study done by researchers at the University of Northern Iowa and Oklahoma State University.

About one-third of students surveyed at both schools said they stretched the truth on anonymous teacher assessments distributed at the end of a semester, The Des Moines Register reported. Fifty-six percent said they know other students who have done the same.
In some cases, students stretch the truth to make their instructors look good. But more often than not they lie to punish professors they don’t like.
. . . the study . . . will be published next year in the education journal, Marketing Education Review.
. . .
Clayson spent several years evaluating teacher evaluations, which ask students to grade their instructor on a number of topics, such as how much they learned in class to how accessible the instructor was. The evaluations can play a role in pay raises, promotions and tenure decisions.
Some instructors dumb down their classes or inflate grades to increase the odds students will like them — a practice widely known among professors and studied by researchers, including at Duke University, where researchers found professors who gave higher grades received better evaluations.

For the full story, see:
AP. “Professor Evaluations Can Be Tool or Weapon.” Omaha World-Herald (Tues., December 14, 2010): 6B.
(Note: ellipses added.)

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