DARBY, J.A., 2006. The effects of the elective or required status of courses on student evaluations. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 58 (1), pp. 19-29.
This study examined the impact on a course evaluation of the course being either an elective or a required part of a training programme. Three elective and three required courses were evaluated using both a scaled and an open ended response form. Many variables were taken into account when examining the effect of course status, which other researchers have tended to neglect. These included the type of training method employed, the presenter and the type of student. It was found using a scaled response form that the elective courses received more favourable responses than the required courses on all three measures used, while on the open ended response forms, this occurred for two of the measures. It is suggested that, when comparing course evaluations, care should be taken to ensure that the status of the course as elective or required is taken into account.