nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒12‒03
five papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The Persistent Effects of Short-Term Peer Groups in Higher Education By Thiemann, Petra
  2. Dialogue of cultures in higher education By Lívia Ablonczy-Mihályka
  3. International students? use of technology and the implications for pedagogy: A case study By Louise Kaktins
  4. Work Hard or Play Hard? Degree Class, Student Leadership and Employment Opportunities By Baert, Stijn; Verhaest, Dieter
  5. The Extent of Bias in Grading By Andersland, Leroy

  1. By: Thiemann, Petra (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the persistent effects of short-term peer exposure in a college setting. I exploit the random assignment of undergraduates to peer groups during a mandatory orientation week and follow the students until graduation. High levels of peer ability in a group harm the students’ test scores and lead to increases in the probability of early dropout; this result is driven by the adverse effect of high-ability peers on low-ability students. I find suggestive evidence for discouragement effects: Peer ability is negatively correlated with the students’ confidence in their academic ability after the first week.
    Keywords: peer effect; higher education; natural experiment; ability; educational attainment; dropout; major choice
    JEL: I21 I23 J24
    Date: 2018–11–14
  2. By: Lívia Ablonczy-Mihályka (Széchenyi István University)
    Abstract: Internationalisation of higher education is not a new phenomenon. It has existed since the foundation of universities due to the international character of knowledge and the intent to be involved in the educational processes in the world. For decades, with the rise of globalisation the internationalisation of universities has been of growing importance and in consequence Hungarian institutions must face the challenges when foreign students are found in several courses, Hungarian students go abroad to widen their knowledge and outgoing and incoming professors and lecturers can be seen at universities. It means that several cultures can be found at institutions and cross-cultural issues are a key factor. This paper puts the examination in context by outlining the historical background of internationalisation of universities in Hungary, and then it describes the present situation focusing on the regulations determining the international process. This paper looks at intercultural interaction issues and then summarises the differences in behaviour, attitudes and norms. Attitudes of individuals with different cultural backgrounds are of critical importance to the outcomes of the interaction and are a basis for the relationship we form with others. These attitudes of individuals or groups of individuals are shaped, in large part, by prior experiences, and the socialization process, i.e. by culture. The findings of this study prove that culture also influences people?s way of thinking and behaving and result in different understanding toward vision and purposes of universities.
    Keywords: internationalisation of universities, trends over time, measures, cultural diversity
    JEL: M14 I20 I23
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Louise Kaktins (Macquarie University)
    Abstract: The pervasiveness of digital technology in all aspects of society generally, has raised concerns in the higher education sector as to the implications for pedagogy especially with the exponential influx of Gen Y students (those coming of age between 1998 and 2006) whose use of such technology is already a seamless part of their daily lives. Understandably, their expectation may well be that such technology will also be embedded in their academic lives as undergraduates and later as postgraduates. On the other hand, pressures on the universities ? cost-effectiveness, increasing diversity and volume of the student body ? are making educational technology appear a ready solution, if not panacea. In the midst of such an academic landscape, international students have their own specific challenges in adapting to the western style, English-language-based Higher Education (HE) environment. This paper aims to investigate international students studying in a commercially operated pathway program at a Sydney-based university and their relationship to technology against the current challenges of using technology to facilitate academic achievement. Key areas of focus include: the disconnect between digital exposure and digital literacy, the use of online tools such as e-dictionaries and students? attitudes to e-learning. Pedagogical implications are explored.
    Keywords: internet, pedagogy, digital literacy, educational technology, digital natives, digital immigrants
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Baert, Stijn; Verhaest, Dieter
    Abstract: We investigated the impact on first hiring outcomes of two main curriculum vitae (CV) characteristics by which graduates with a tertiary education degree distinguish themselves from their peers: degree class and extra-curricular activities. These characteristics were randomly assigned to 2,800 fictitious job applications that were sent to real vacancies in Belgium. Academic performance and extra-curricular engagement both enhanced job interview rates by about 7%. The effect of a higher degree class was driven by female (versus male) candidates and candidates with a master’s (versus a bachelor’s) degree. We did not find evidence for these CV characteristics to be substitutes or to reinforce each other’s effect.
    Keywords: degree class,extra-curricular activities,hiring,field experiment
    JEL: J23 J24 I23 C93
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Andersland, Leroy (University of Bergen, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Do biased perceptions and behaviors affect teachers’ assessment of students? To investigate this question, a number of studies use data on two different scores for the same individuals: one non-blind score based on classroom tests assessed by the student’s own teacher and one blind test score based on a national exam marked externally and anonymously. In the absence of bias in teachers’ assessments, it is argued, there should not be significant differences in the gaps in blind and non-blind scores between different groups. This article present a parsimonious econometric framework that distills out the assumptions necessary to identify group bias in teachers’ assessment from such a comparison of blind and non-blind scores. This framework lays the foundation for our empirical analysis, where data from the Norwegian school system are employed to estimate and interpret differences between nonblind and blind assessments. The results show that the relationship between the subject ability and non-blind results tends to be different from the relationship between subject ability and blind results. Evidence of this is found both when grades are recorded when teachers grade the same test and when they grade based on different assessments that are meant to test the same skill. The difference between non-blind and blind will therefore be a function of the skill tested. This leads to different estimates of the group bias when holding ability fixed.
    Keywords: Discrimination; bias; human capital; test scores
    JEL: D63 D80 J15 J16 J24
    Date: 2017–08–30

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