Thursday, December 18, 2014
These are now a big part of the promotion and tenure process. It have never been clear to me that students actually are in a position to evaluate their courses. They just don't know enough. And in the US context, evaluations, I believe, tend to stress a teacher's entertainment value or likeability or gooniese (is the teacher a soft touch grading wise). So, though I believe that student input can be useful, I think that it likely plays too large a role given that it is probably a pretty poor indicator of teaching quality. However, it also seems that there is now evidence that it is also gender biased, and pretty severely. This piece discusses the latter. Again, the discussion is in the context of economics, but I doubt that on this matter we are much different, though I would love to be disabused of this. I would love to know what you think, especially my female colleagues.