Monday, January 11, 2016

Bias Against Female Instructors - Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

New analysis offers more evidence against the reliability of student evaluations of teaching, at least for their use in personnel decisions. There’s mounting evidence suggesting that student evaluations of teaching are unreliable. But are these evaluations, commonly referred to as SET, so bad that they’re actually better at gauging students’ gender bias and grade expectations than they are at measuring teaching effectiveness? A new paper argues that’s the case, and that evaluations are biased against female instructors in particular in so many ways that adjusting them for that bias is impossible. Moreover, the paper says, gender biases about instructors -- which vary by discipline, student gender and other factors -- affect how students rate even supposedly objective practices, such as how quickly assignments are graded.

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