Taking Aim at Student Evaluations’ ‘Air of Objectivity’

We’re asked fairly often for publications discussing biases in course evaluations.  Now the Chronicle of Higher Ed links to an article which notes biases and other faults in course evaluations.  E.g.,

Some of what Mr. Stark and Mr. Freishtat write repeats critiques by other researchers: that evaluations often reflect snap judgments or biases about an instructor’s gender, ethnicity, or attractiveness; and that they fail to adequately capture teaching quality. While economists, education researchers, psychologists, and sociologists have weighed in on the use and misuse of these tools, it is relatively unusual for a statistician to do so.

and they have a number of other objections, ones that should appeal to administrators who don’t like claims about ‘identity issues’.

The bottom line? “We’re confusing consumer satisfaction with product value.”

The biblio for the research article looks wonderful.