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Gender and cultural bias in student evaluations: Why representation matters

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      Abstract

      Gendered and racial inequalities persist in even the most progressive of workplaces. There is increasing evidence to suggest that all aspects of employment, from hiring to performance evaluation to promotion, are affected by gender and cultural background. In higher education, bias in performance evaluation has been posited as one of the reasons why few women make it to the upper echelons of the academic hierarchy. With unprecedented access to institution-wide student survey data from a large public university in Australia, we investigated the role of conscious or unconscious bias in terms of gender and cultural background. We found potential bias against women and teachers with non-English speaking backgrounds. Our findings suggest that bias may decrease with better representation of minority groups in the university workforce. Our findings have implications for society beyond the academy, as over 40% of the Australian population now go to university, and graduates may carry these biases with them into the workforce.

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      Most cited references 17

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      Student Evaluation of College Teaching Effectiveness: a brief review

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        Estimation and Comparison of Receiver Operating Characteristic Curves.

        The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve displays the capacity of a marker or diagnostic test to discriminate between two groups of subjects, cases versus controls. We present a comprehensive suite of Stata commands for performing ROC analysis. Non-parametric, semiparametric and parametric estimators are calculated. Comparisons between curves are based on the area or partial area under the ROC curve. Alternatively pointwise comparisons between ROC curves or inverse ROC curves can be made. Options to adjust these analyses for covariates, and to perform ROC regression are described in a companion article. We use a unified framework by representing the ROC curve as the distribution of the marker in cases after standardizing it to the control reference distribution.
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          What’s in a Name: Exposing Gender Bias in Student Ratings of Teaching

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW, Sydney, Australia
            [2 ] Department of Government and International Relations, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
            [3 ] Division of Academic, UNSW Sydney, Australia
            [4 ] Division of Research, UNSW Sydney, Australia
            [5 ] School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW Sydney, Australia
            University of Indianapolis, UNITED STATES
            Author notes

            Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            Contributors
            ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3783-9179, Role: Conceptualization, Role: Formal analysis, Role: Investigation, Role: Methodology, Role: Project administration, Role: Supervision, Role: Writing – original draft, Role: Writing – review & editing
            Role: Conceptualization, Role: Writing – review & editing
            Role: Formal analysis, Role: Methodology, Role: Validation, Role: Writing – original draft, Role: Writing – review & editing
            Role: Conceptualization, Role: Data curation
            Role: Conceptualization, Role: Funding acquisition, Role: Project administration, Role: Writing – review & editing
            Role: Conceptualization, Role: Funding acquisition
            Role: Conceptualization, Role: Supervision, Role: Writing – review & editing
            Role: Editor
            Journal
            PLoS One
            PLoS ONE
            plos
            plosone
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
            1932-6203
            2019
            13 February 2019
            : 14
            : 2
            30759093
            6373838
            PONE-D-18-14789
            10.1371/journal.pone.0209749
            (Editor)
            © 2019 Fan et al

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Counts
            Figures: 5, Tables: 4, Pages: 16
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            Funding
            This study was funded by Division of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, UNSW. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
            Categories
            Research Article
            People and Places
            Population Groupings
            Professions
            Teachers
            Social Sciences
            Sociology
            Culture
            Social Sciences
            Sociology
            Education
            Schools
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            All data underlying the study are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

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