Online Learning Update

April 18, 2015

Keep gender in mind for course evaluations

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:12 am

by the Daily Tarheel (letter to editor)

Recent research suggests that students rate female professors more harshly than male professors. When a female professor of an online course pretends she is male, her evaluations are significantly higher than when students know she is a female, and evaluations of female professors are more likely to focus on aspects of personality or appearance rather than intellect or skill in the classroom. Gender bias in course evaluations can be reduced by focusing comments on feedback that is useful for improving instruction. Ideally, student comments will help us improve our instructional techniques and thus improve the learning experience of future Carolina students. Comments that are vague, belittling, personal or based on gender expectations do not help us make our courses better.

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