The validity of student evaluations of courses and the relationship between evaluations and course outcomes has frequently been examined. Since many course evaluations give students an opportunity to provide answers to open-ended questions in addition to giving Likert scale ratings, it is important to understand the relationship between these responses and course outcomes. This study examined the relationship between student responses to open ended questions (specifically whether they attributed their achievement to factors within their control or factors not within their control) and their outcomes in the course. The results of the study indicate that students that identified external factors (e.g. the professor) as responsible for their success in the course had significantly higher course outcomes than students that identified external factors as responsible for their failure in the course. No differences were detected in course outcomes for students that made external comments on their course evaluations versus those that made internal comments.
Smith Risser, Hilary
"Internal and External Comments on Course Evaluations and Their Relationship to Course Grades,"
The Mathematics Enthusiast: Vol. 7
, Article 16.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol7/iss2/16