Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
A sophomore core chemical engineering course was co-taught by two different instructors in Spring 2016 and Spring 2017 with approximately 90 students both semesters via an active learning environment in a collaborative learning space. Both instructors were present for almost all lectures and each instructor delivered approximately 50% of the lectures. The learning environment consisted of students working in three to four person teams supported by pre- and/or post-recorded content with pre-quizzes to hold students accountable for pre-class content material. The observational experiment involved two different instructors, one male with 16 years of teaching experience, and one female with 1 year of laboratory instruction experience, teaching the same students at the same time in the same way in a course neither had taught before in the first teaching instance, and then again co-teaching in a second year to see if results were replicable. The COPUS protocol was used to demonstrate similarity of teaching approaches in the classroom between the two faculty members. Teaching course effectiveness scores collected by the institution were used as the basis of investigating the importance of gender on evaluations and differences between the instructors in a male dominated discipline. Prior research on gender topics is mixed and there is no clear result on whether women receive higher or lower scores depending on the dominant gender of the students evaluating the instructors. The experiment performed here removed many of the confounding factors in prior studies and allows for a clearer picture of students’ views of teachers. We found that the instructors received student teaching effectiveness scores that were statistically distinguishable regarding gender (P=0.007 for both years). On the other hand, open-ended comments reported on the evaluation forms were scored relatively the same towards both instructors, fitting with some of the evidence in the peer reviewed literature regarding gender expectations of students. However, some of the comments towards the female instructor were harsher than those towards the male instructor. In conclusion, there is reason to believe that there is a gender bias against female instructors in a male dominated field.
Hempel, B., & Kiehlbaugh, K., & Blowers, P. (2018, June), Student Evaluation of Teaching in an Engineering Class and Comparison of Results Based on Instructor Gender Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31006
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