Student Ratings


Scott Armstrong seeks evidence on student ratings and student satisfaction, motivation and learning as well as teacher satisfaction and motivation

ARC: Community: ELMAR: Teaching
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Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2006 09:36:16 -0500
From: armstrong <>
I am writing a paper on the effects of Student Ratings of Instruction (student ratings of courses; student ratings of teachers).

There is evidence that pre-announced satisfaction surveys harm the satisfaction of customers in various service industries (Ofir & Simonson 2001) and that they reduce the flow of useful information about customer satisfaction (Lane & Keaveney 2005). However, these studies do not deal directly with educational services. Furthermore, I am interested in the effects of such surveys on the satisfaction of service providers.  So I am looking for evidence on the following issues.

What effects do student ratings of teachers have on the:

  1. satisfaction of students?
  2. motivation of students?
  3. students’ learning?
  4. satisfaction of teachers?
  5. motivation of teachers?

Based on the research to date, my prior hypotheses are that the effects are negative with respect to all five of these issues. Thus, I am especially interested in obtaining evidence that would contradict my prior hypotheses. I am also interested in additional references on these issues even if they do not relate directly to educational services.

Your priors would also be of interest. If you have priors, please use a "+ "(that the student ratings help), a "0" for no effects (or you are uncertain), and a "-"  (that the ratings are harmful) beside each of the five criteria above, and send them to me.


Lane, Vicki R. & Susan M. Keaveney (2005), "The negative effects of expecting to evaluate: Reexamination and extension in the context of service failure," Psychology and Marketing, 22 (11), 857-885.

Ofir, Chezy & Itamar Simonson (2001), "In search of negative customer feedback: The effect of expecting to evaluate on satisfaction evaluations," Journal of Marketing Research, 38 (May), 170-182.

Scott Armstrong

J. Scott Armstrong
Professor of Marketing, 747 Huntsman, The Wharton School, U. of PA, Phila, PA 19104
home phone 610 622 6480
Home address: 645 Harper Ave., Drexel Hill, PA 19026
Fax at school: 215 898 2534