Wednesday, September 28, 2016

College Affordability Expert on the Daily Show

A friend and co-author has a new book and did an interview on The Daily Show last night. You don't see too many sociologists on TV, BTW. Sara's new book is a research-based look at the challenges of paying for higher education, with solutions.

Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"But even if they are not valid, they do tell you something...."

Remember, "validity" means "they measure what you think they measure." "Data driven" can also mean driven right off the side of the road.

From Inside Higher Ed

Zero Correlation Between Evaluations and Learning

New study adds to evidence that student reviews of professors have limited validity.
September 21, 2016
A number of studies suggest that student evaluations of teaching are unreliable due to various kinds of biases against instructors. (Here’s one addressing gender.) Yet conventional wisdom remains that students learn best from highly rated instructors; tenure cases have even hinged on it.
What if the data backing up conventional wisdom were off? A new study suggests that past analyses linking student achievement to high student teaching evaluation ratings are flawed, a mere “artifact of small sample sized studies and publication bias.”
“Whereas the small sample sized studies showed large and moderate correlation, the large sample sized studies showed no or only minimal correlation between [student evaluations of teaching, or SET] ratings and learning,” reads the study, in press with Studies in Educational Evaluation. “Our up-to-date meta-analysis of all multi-section studies revealed no significant correlations between [evaluation] ratings and learning.”