Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Following up on last week's post, Students Rate Male Professors More Highly Than Female Professors: Daily Tar Heel, NC State Research Shows Male Professors Receive Higher Ratings Than Female:
For professors, student evaluations are used to assist decisions on promotions, raises and tenure. But research from North Carolina State University shows that the evaluations a professor receives are linked to their gender, with male professors receiving higher and more favorable ratings than female professors [What’s in a Name: Exposing Gender Bias in Student Ratings of Teaching].
In 2014, researchers at N.C. State used online courses, where an instructor’s gender could be hidden, to test this gender bias. Four sections of an online class were taught by two instructors: a female instructor and a male instructor. Each taught two sections, using their true identity for one and adopting a name of the opposite gender for the other.
At the end of the course, students were asked to rate their professors on fifteen positive qualities, ranging from knowledgeable and fair to caring and helpful. In every category except one, the scores the male professor received dropped when he adopted a female name. Meanwhile, the female professor received higher scores in every category when using a male name.