# 20.4: Teacher Ratings

Learning Objectives

• Teacher Ratings

## Research conducted by

Annette Towler and Robert Dipboye

Emily Zitek

## Overview

How powerful are rumors? Frequently, students ask friends and/or look at instructor evaluations to decide if a class is worth taking. Kelley ($$1950$$) found that instructor reputation has a profound impact on actual teaching ratings, and Towler and Dipboye ($$1998$$) replicated and extended this study.

Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. Before viewing the lecture, students were given a summary of the instructors' prior teaching evaluations. There were two conditions: Charismatic instructor and Punitive instructor.

Then all subjects watched the same twenty-minute lecture given by the exact same lecturer. Following the lecture, subjects answered three questions about the leadership qualities of the lecturer. A summary rating score was computed and used as the variable "rating" here.

Does an instructor's prior reputation affect student ratings?

## Design Issues

The data presented here are part of a larger study. See the references below to learn more.

## Descriptions of Variables

 Variable Description Condition this represents the content of the description that the students were given about the professor (1 = charismatic, 2 = punitive) Rating how favorably the subjects rated the professor after hearing the lecture (higher ratings are more favorable)

Ratings.xls

## References

• Kelley, H. H.(1950). The warm-cold variable in first impression of persons. Journal of Personality, 18, 431-439.
• Towler, A., & Dipboye, R. L. (1998). The effect of instructor reputation and need for cognition on student behavior (poster presented at American Psychological Society conference, May 1998).

## Contributor

• Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study (http://onlinestatbook.com/). Project Leader: David M. Lane, Rice University.