Teagle Foundation Grant

“Assessing Classmate Peer Effects on Student Learning: Statistical and Qualitative Evidence for Gateway Courses at Three Liberal-Arts Colleges”

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Grant Description

In 2006, Reed College received a three-year grant to partner with Whitman College and Lewis & Clark College on a collaborative study on the classroom peer effects in required courses for first-year students. We studied classmate peer effects in college-wide first-year courses using a methodology that combined quantitative regression analysis of student data with qualitative evidence obtained from interviews with experienced course instructors. Through this method we arrived at a fuller understanding of the degree to which students are helped—or hindered—by the composition of their classes. Following two years of analysis, Reed hosted a symposium in the third year of the grant to discuss the findings of the project, and to spur discussion about the degree to which colleges may improve student performance by adjusting class enrollments. This was an extremely useful symposium, leading to a two-year extension of the grant, and additional research.  Our finalized peer effects findings can be found below under the 2010 papers.  Jeffrey Parker, George Hay Professor of Economics at Reed College, was the principal investigator.

Research Links

Teagle research team

Peer effects presentation, 2010 (.pdf)
(Presented to the Pacific Northwest Association of Institutional Research and Planning, Vancouver, B.C., Ocober 4, 2010)

Peer effects paper, 2010 (.pdf) 
(Presented to the Pacific Northwest Association of Institutional Research and Planning, Vancouver, B.C., Ocober 4, 2010)

Peer effects "quant" paper, 2010 (.pdf)

Peer effects paper, 2006 (.pdf)

Teagle grant presentations

Resources

2008 Peer Effects Conference


Agenda and Presentations

Reports and Outcomes

Classmate Peer Effects: Evidence from Core Courses at Three Colleges (Presented to Mellon Workshop on Evaluating Teaching and Learning at Liberal Arts Colleges, Wellesley College, September 2008;.pdf)

Assessing Classmate Peer Effects on Student Learning (Final Report, Interview Study, October 2008; .pdf)

Assessing Classroom Peer Effects on Student Learning (Report to the Whitman College Faculty, October 22, 2008; .pdf)

Other Links

Teagle Foundation