Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cue Guide Evaluations

With the cue guide evaluations going on, I have been thinking a bit about their validity. Every year, there is a large number of people who do not participate in the survey. Since it is probably the same people not participating every year, the bias is most likely the same. The cue guide should do another survey for those who DIDN'T fill out a cue evaluation to determine why and possibly identify what kind of bias they provide. This could help give us cue users a more exact reading on courses. However, these people who didn't fill out the cue likely wouldn't fill out this other survey, so yeah. The question is, why didn't I think of this for my term paper?

That would make for an intersting analysis -- what is the selection bias in CUE guide ratings?
Sounds like a new pet project for you Bryce...
Even more than this, I am interested in testing something similar to this Brian Jacob paper I linked to earlier which showed that richer parents wanted more entertaining teachers for their kids, but poorer parents wanted the most skilled teachers. I'd love to look at the relationship between student background (like income, etc.) and selection of courses and ratings of different types of teachers among students at Harvard. Do Harvard students show a similar pattern? Do those who feel more secure in their future choose classes which are easier or more fun (regardless of whether they actually learn anything?)
From what I've heard, the CUE guide rakings are supposed to help administrators know which teachers are doing a good job and to help students determine what classes they want to shop and ultimately take. The idea that it is probably the same group of people who consistently fail to fill out the survey might indeed cause bias in terms of feedback for teachers. For the class selection process, however, it might be interesting to see whether the students who tend to use the CUE guide are the ones who actually do the surveys. If this is the case, then the students who do not fill out the surveys probably don't use the CUE guide when choosing their classes, and thus the people who do fill out the surveys will more closely reflect the behaviors and interests of those who actually read the CUE guide. Just a thought.
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