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Strategic behavior by students : a supplementary explanation for differences between marks on school examinations and central examinations in Dutch pre-university education

Leferink, J. (2015) Strategic behavior by students : a supplementary explanation for differences between marks on school examinations and central examinations in Dutch pre-university education.

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Abstract:Discrepancies between students’ marks on school examinations and central examinations in Dutch secondary educations can be attributed to strategic behavior of schools or can be attributed to strategic behavior of students. Strategic behavior of schools is researched in much literature. Strategic behavior of students as explanation has thus far hardly been considered as an alternative explanation. The difference between a school’s average central examination mark for a subject, minus a school’s average school examination mark for that subject, serves as an important indicator for assigning the quality of schools by the Dutch Inspectorate of Education. A supplementary explanation that has not been considered in research so far is the possibility that discrepancies may also result from strategic behavior by students. Students with high grades on the school examinations may be less motivated to get high grades on the central examinations if the final grade is computed by averaging the mark on the school and central examinations. A change in rules and regulations regarding graduating pre-university education provides an interesting opportunity to investigate if strategic behavior by students may account for discrepancies between marks on school examinations and central examinations. Since 2012, students need to get an average central examination mark of at least a 5.5. Therefore students with high marks on their school examinations can no longer afford to get to low marks on their central examinations and still need to perform on their central examinations. Before 2012 high grades on school examinations would largely compensate for low grades on central examinations (and vice versa). This research will compare differences between students’ mark on their school examinations mark minus their central examinations mark in 2011 and 2012: before, and after this change in rules and regulations. Data provided by the Dutch Inspectorate of Education were analyzed by both descriptive statistics and multi-level analyses. Multi-level analyses were used to discriminate in variation on school level and variation on student level. The data provided by the Dutch Inspectorate of Education consists of all students enrolled in pre-university education. Generalization of data to the whole population will therefore not be an issue. Effect sizes using Cohen’s d were used to get information for interpreting the effect of the change in rules and regulations on discrepancies between marks on school examinations and central examinations. The results of the analyses show a change in pattern between students’ marks on school examinations and central examinations. This effect of a changing pattern is larger for students with higher SE marks. It seems likely that strategic behavior of students is a supplementary explanation for differences between students’ marks on school examinations and students’ marks on central examinations.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68752
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