Carrots, sticks and academic ethics : the use of incentives to increase evaluation response rates
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by John Broadbent, Melanie Birks, Ysanne Chapman
Questions are often raised about whether evaluation response rates and results reflect students’ perceptions of the value and quality of their educational experience. How can academics be confident that students respond with honesty and objectivity to evaluations? Are responses influenced by factors such as workload, grade and prior experience of evaluations? Can educational priorities be lost when incentives are offered? This paper will explore concepts related to the use of incentives as a strategy to enhance evaluation response rates and in particular examines the position against the use of incentives to solicit enhanced response rates from students. Incentives and penalties applied to academic staff themselves will also be considered. The paper concludes that the use of incentives that are not based in moral and ethical practice are contrary to the principles of ethical practice and academic integrity.