The Impact of Gender Bias in Student Evaluations of Teaching




Teagle, Annemarie

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Student evaluations of teaching, or SETs, are opportunities for students to anonymously share their thoughts and feelings on a particular class and/or professor. All public accredited universities are required to provide students with an opportunity to complete evaluations on their classes and professors at the end of every semester. Existing literature demonstrates female faculty at universities experience more biased behavior toward them than their male colleagues. Biased behavior based on gender is present when one steps outside of their gender role stereotype. When a woman holds a position of power, like being a professor, this makes her step outside her gender role norms. People tend to express more biased behavior towards someone when they don't fit into gender stereotypes. This is one of the reasons why female faculty experience more biases in academia. Looking into previous research, all studies I have reviewed agree that there exists a bias in SETs that negatively affect female faculty. This can have a detrimental impact on a faculty member when it comes to promotion, pay, and overall department standing. For my project, I recruited and interviewed eight different faculty members from the college of liberal arts to conduct qualitative interviews with the hopes of getting to know their experience with gender bias, especially when it relates to that bias within evaluations. The interviews consisted of questions relating to biased experiences in academia as well as biased reports in SETs, especially reports having to do with the faculty's gender. Topics I will discuss include gender bias in evaluations, the language between professors and students, gender and queerness, graduate school experiences, biases within academia, and professors’ thoughts on students and evaluations. The result of this study is that there does exist gender bias in SETs as well as other aspects within academia.



academia, faculty, gender bias, professors, student evaluations


Teagle, A. (2023). The impact of gender bias in student evaluations of teaching. Honors College, Texas State University.


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