Wow. We’ve known for some time that student course evaluations are dubious gauges for teaching effectiveness. And we’ve known that there is gender bias in evaluation responses. But WOW. This article still really packs a punch.
The study featured in this article suggests evaluations are, “actually better at gauging students’ gender bias and grade expectations than they are at measuring teaching effectiveness.” And yes, the evaluations disadvantage female instructors.
In Academic Technology, we are not involved in course evaluations but we are actively evaluating projects we do work on. Typically, we’re tracking how effective our training on a particular learning technology was perceived to be by students and/or if students felt that the tech helped their learning. Some examples of projects we have done that included an evaluation component:
-the use of student portfolios by Physics
-the implementation in select courses of Electronic Lab Notebooks by Chemistry and Physics
-the piloting of the Lightboard by Language departments