Advances in Health Sciences Education

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 241–247 | Cite as

The grades that clinical teachers give students modifies the grades they receive

  • Michael Paget
  • Gurbir Brar
  • Pamela Veale
  • Kevin Busche
  • Sylvain Coderre
  • Wayne Woloschuk
  • Kevin McLaughlin


Prior studies have shown a correlation between the grades students receive and how they rate their teacher in the classroom. In this study, the authors probe this association on clinical rotations and explore potential mechanisms. All In-Training Evaluation Reports (ITERs) for students on mandatory clerkship rotations from April 1, 2013 to January 31, 2015 were matched with the corresponding student’s rating of their teacher (SRT). The date and time that ITERs and SRTs were submitted was used to divide SRTs into those submitted before versus after the corresponding ITER was submitted. Multilevel, mixed effects linear regression was used to examine the association between SRT, ITER rating, and whether the ITER was submitted before or after SRT. Of 2373 paired evaluations, 1098 (46.3%) SRT were submitted before the teacher had submitted the ITER. There was a significant interaction between explanatory variables: when ITER ratings had not yet been submitted, the regression coefficient for this association was 0.25 (95% confidence interval [0.17, 0.33], p < 0.001), whereas the regression coefficient was significantly higher when ITER ratings were submitted prior to SRT (0.40 [0.31, 0.49], p < 0.001). Finding an association between SRT and ITER when students do not know their ITER ratings suggests that SRTs can capture attributes of effective teaching, but the effect modification when students have access to their ITER rating supports grade satisfaction bias. Further studies are needed to explain the mechanism of grade satisfaction and to identify other biases that may impact the validity of SRT.


Student’s rating of their teacher In-training evaluation report Grade satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, Health Sciences CentreUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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