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Course evaluations : a tendency to respond favourably on scales

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journal contribution
posted on 28.04.2008, 14:07 by Jenny A. Darby
Course evaluations : a tendency to respond favourably on scales


Purpose: A possible favourable response pattern on scaled forms used as a means of evaluating training courses is investigated. This is an important issue as scales are frequently used to collect student feedback and also to measure attitude change as a result of training courses, in universities, colleges and industry, Methodology: In part one of the study evaluation forms were examined referring to courses were completed by 879 students attending 15 university level courses and 531 students at school. In part two a more exacting test for a favourable response tendency using attitude scales was designed. This involved 212 teachers who were asked about their willingness to include ‘children with special needs’ in their classes. Findings: It was found the majority of students in part one responded at the favourable end of the evaluation scales. The same tendency was noted with the teachers in part two of the study. Implications: Courses are likely to be evaluated favourably and therefore it is suggested that it is necessary to incorporate in any evaluation a means of comparison. Internal elements of courses need to be compared and courses should be judged in terms of how good they are when compared with other similar courses.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


DARBY, J. A., 2008. Course evaluations : a tendency to respond favourably on scales. Quality assurance in education, 16 (1), pp. 7-18


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This article was published in the journal, Quality assurance in education [© Emerald]. The definitive version is available at: