A Gender Bias in Student Evaluations on RateMyProfessors.com

RateMyProfessorsA new study by Andrew S. Rosen, a Ph.D. student in chemical engineering at Northwestern University in Illinois, examined data from 7.9 million evaluations of 190,000 college faculty members in the United States from the database compiled by the website RateMyProfessors.com. Rosen’s data shows male faculty members had overall scores higher than women in most academic disciplines. He states “the effect of a professor’s gender on rating criteria is small but statistically significant.”

Note: Male and female professors who were rated as “hot” by student evaluators were excluded from the gender analysis because teachers rated as “hot” tended to have higher scores than other faculty members.

While RateMyProfessor.com data may not be considered relevant by college administrators or faculty themselves, the author notes that “publicly accessible web-based student evaluations of teaching are of particular relevance, due to their widespread use by students in the course selection process.”

The study, “Correlations, Trends and Potential Biases Among Publicly Accessible Web-Based Student Evaluations of Teaching: A Large-Scale Study of RateMyProfessors.com Data,” was published on the website of the journal Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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