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February 08, 2019 Friday 02:57:28 PM IST
Big Data May Help Evaluate Teacher Performances

Often there is much talk of improving student grades and performances in schools and colleges. However, we still follow an outdated method of assessing teacher performances. A new reliable method of evaluating teacher quality based on principles of econometrics is being developed by Jiaying Gu, Assistant Professor of University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

The current evaluation uses the linear shrinkage principle that assumes that distribution of quality follows a bell curve. According to Jiaying Gu, a recipient of 2018 Polanyi Prize in Economic Science for her novel statistical methods in evaluating teachers, the data set in such a system is too diverse to be analysed one way. The differences in behaviour of individual teachers cannot be judged easily such as innate ability or personal preference. Big data may give quantities of nuanced information to tackle datasets that are difficult to observe using traditional methods. In evaluation based on student grades, the teaching style cannot be accurately factored in due to difficulty in observing it. Therefore, Gu is working on datasets in elementary schools in USA with the aim of accurately evaluating the quality of teachers.

The research outcome will have far-reaching impact on educational policy and help improve our educational system at various levels.

Source: https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/index.php/index/index/newsDetails/175

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