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PANEL: Gender bias in student evaluations of teaching

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Gender Bias in Student Evaluations of Teaching

Tagged Divisions

Minorities in Engineering and Women in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Agnes G d'Entremont University of British Columbia, Vancouver Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Agnes d’Entremont is an Instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her technical research in Orthopaedic Biomechanics is focused on joint motion and cartilage health with a particular concentration in pediatric hip disorders and MRI-based methods. Her teaching-related interests include team-based learning and the flipped classroom, as well as diversity and climate issues in engineering education.

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Hannah Gustafson University of British Columbia

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Hannah Gustafson earned her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Her research focus is biomechanics.

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There is evidence that student evaluation of teaching (SET) is influenced by gender (both of the instructor and of the student). For example, one study in an online course showed that students rated instructors they believed were male higher than those they believed were female, regardless of actual gender or teaching performance (MacNeil, 2015). Factors like size of class and perceived nurturing behavior from female instructors may also affect the outcomes. Because hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions are increasingly reliant on student evaluations as a measure of teaching effectiveness and women may be more likely to receive lower ratings (particularly from male students, which comprise a majority of our engineering student bodies), this is a topical issue that may systematically inhibit the retention and advancement of female faculty members in engineering.

During this panel we will discuss the role of SET in tenure and other decisions; the evidence for/effect of evaluation gender bias; the underlying basis for student ratings (teaching effectiveness, or other (potentially gendered) factors); strategies to mitigate the effect of gender bias on SET (student-, class-, department-, or institution-level); and the effect of gender interaction (teacher-student), with majority male student bodies.

d'Entremont, A. G., & Gustafson, H. (2017, June), PANEL: Gender bias in student evaluations of teaching Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28731

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