+1 Recommend
1 collections
    • Record: found
    • Abstract: found
    • Article: not found
    Is Open Access

    Student Evaluations of Teaching (Mostly) Do Not Measure Teaching Effectiveness

    ScienceOpen Research


    The article is currently in production. The preliminary preview version will be replaced with the processed article soon.

    This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at

    permutation tests, gender bias, disparate impact, nonparametric statistics

    Read this article at

        There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


        Student evaluations of teaching (SET) are widely used in academic personnel decisions as a measure of teaching effectiveness. We show:

        • SET are biased against female instructors by an amount that is large and statistically significant
        • the bias affects how students rate even putatively objective aspects of teaching, such as how promptly assignments are graded
        • the bias varies by discipline and by student gender, among other things
        • it is not possible to adjust for the bias, because it depends on so many factors
        • SET are more sensitive to students' gender bias and grade expectations than they are to teaching effectiveness
        • gender biases can be large enough to cause more effective instructors to get lower SET than less effective instructors.

        These findings are based on nonparametric statistical tests applied to two datasets: 23,001 SET of 379 instructors by 4,423 students in six mandatory first-year courses in a five-year natural experiment at a French university, and 43 SET for four sections of an online course in a randomized, controlled, blind experiment at a US university.

        Related collections

        Most cited references 24

        • Record: found
        • Abstract: not found
        • Article: not found

        On the Application of Probability Theory to Agricultural Experiments. Essay on Principles. Section 9

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors

            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Beauty in the classroom: instructors’ pulchritude and putative pedagogical productivity


              Author and article information

              ScienceOpen disciplines:


              Comment on this article