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Are professors worth It? The value-added and costs of tutorial instructors


Feld, Jan; Salamanca, Nicolás; Zölitz, Ulf (2020). Are professors worth It? The value-added and costs of tutorial instructors. Journal of Human Resources, 55(3):836-863.

Abstract

A substantial share of university instruction happens in tutorial sessions - small group instruction given parallel to lectures. In this paper, we study whether instructors with a higher academic rank teach tutorials more effectively in a setting where students are randomly assigned to tutorial groups. We find this to be largely not the case. Academic rank is unrelated to students’ current and future performance and only weakly positively related to students’ course evaluations. Building on these results, we discuss different staffing scenarios that show that universities can substantially reduce costs by increasingly relying on lower-ranked instructors for tutorial teaching.

Abstract

A substantial share of university instruction happens in tutorial sessions - small group instruction given parallel to lectures. In this paper, we study whether instructors with a higher academic rank teach tutorials more effectively in a setting where students are randomly assigned to tutorial groups. We find this to be largely not the case. Academic rank is unrelated to students’ current and future performance and only weakly positively related to students’ course evaluations. Building on these results, we discuss different staffing scenarios that show that universities can substantially reduce costs by increasingly relying on lower-ranked instructors for tutorial teaching.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 09:53
Last Modified:23 Feb 2021 13:55
Publisher:University of Wisconsin Press * Journal Division
ISSN:0022-166X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3368/jhr.55.3.0417-8752r2

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