Student Evaluation Research

As many of us are aware, student evaluations of teaching are heavily relied on for hiring, firing, tenure, and promotion decisions. Yet, we also know these evaluations can be biased against marginalized faculty. When preparing my own tenure and promotion documents, I reviewed much of the research on bias in student evaluations and began compiling a list of this research. To help others interested in this research, I am sharing the studies I have found to date as well as those colleagues have shared with me. Many of these cover bias within student evaluations, but I’ve also included research on student evaluations broadly and on incorporating race in the criminology/criminal justice classroom that might also be useful. When I get more time, I’ll try to add more links. (If you have citations to add, please send me an e-mail.)

Alcorn, M. W. (2013). Resistance to learning: Overcoming the desire-not-to-know in classroom teaching. New York: PalgraveMacMillian.

Babcock, L., Recalde, M. P., Vesterlund, L., & Weingart, L. (2017). Gender differences in accepting and receiving requests for tasks with low promotability. The American Economic Review, 107(3), 714-747.

Barton, A., Corteen, K., Davies, J., and Hobson, A. (2010). Reading the word and reading the world: The impact of a critical pedagogical approach to the teaching of criminology in higher education. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 21(1), 24-41.

Bernal, D. D., and Villalpando, O. (2002). An apartheid of knowledge in academia: The struggle over the “legitimate” knowledge of faculty of color. Equity & Excellence in Education, 35(2), 169-180.

Bing, R. L., Heard, C. A., and Gilbert, E. (1995). The experiences of African-Americans and Whites in criminal justice education: Do race and gender differences exist? Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 6(1), 123-145.

Boring, A. (2017). Gender bias in student evaluations of teaching. Journal of Public Economics, 145, 27-41.

Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., and Stark, P. B. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research. Doi: 10.14293/s2199-1006.1.SOR-EDU.AETBZC.v1

Chang, M. J. (2001). Is it more than about getting along? The broader educational relevance of reducing students’ racial biases. Journal of College Student Development, 42(2), 93-105.

Chang, M. J. (2002). The impact of an undergraduate diversity course requirement on students’ racial views and attitudes. Journal of General Education, 51(1), 21-42.

Collins, L. H., Chrisler, J. C., and Quina, K. (Eds.). (1998). Career strategies for women in academe: Arming Athena. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Davis, N. J. (1992). Teaching about inequality: Student resistance, paralysis, and rage. Teaching Sociology, 20(3), 232-238.

DiPietro, M., & Faye, A. (2005). Online student-ratings-of-instruction (SRI) mechanisms for maximal feedback to instructors. Presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Professional and Organizational Development Network, Milwaukee, WI.

Duffee, D. E., and Bailey, F. Y. (1991). A criminal justice contribution to a general education diversity requirement. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 2(1), 142-157.

El-Alayli, A., Hansen-Brown, A. A., & Ceynar, M. (2018). Dancing backwards in heels: Female professors experiencing more work demands and special favor requests, particularly from academically entitled students. Sex Roles, 79(3-4), 136-150.

Evans-Winters, V. E., & Hoff, P. T. (2011). The aesthetics of white racism in pre-service teacher education: A critical race theory perspective. Race Ethnicity and Education, 14, 461-479.

Ford, K. A. (2011). Race, gender, and bodily (mis)recognitions: Women of color faculty experiences with White students in the college classroom. The Journal of Higher Education, 82(4), 444-478.

Fries, C. J., & McNinch, R. J. (2003). Signed versus unsigned student evaluations of teaching: A comparison. Teaching Sociology, 31, 333-344.

Furst, G., and Phillips, N. D. (2008). Incorporating race/ethnicity into criminology/criminal-justice education. In E. Horowitz, E. (ed.), Teaching race in social science and humanities higher education (pp. 57-69). Birmingham: University of Birmingham.

Gabbidon, S. L. (2002). Exploring the role of course content in criminal justice course evaluations: A case study. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 13(1), 101-112.

Gabbidon, S. L., and Preston, P. (2003). Teaching race and crime: Perspectives from the classroom. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 1(3/4), 109-124.

Ghorpade, J., & Lackritz, J. R. (1991). Student evaluations: Equal opportunity concerns. Thought & Action: N.E.A. Higher Education Journal, 61, 68-69.

Hamermesh, D. S., & Parker, A. M. (2005). Beauty in the classroom: Instructors’ pulchritude and putative pedagogical productivity. Economics of Education Review, 24, 369-376.

Hansen, W. L. (2014). Rethinking the student course evaluation: How a customized approach can improve teaching & learning. Liberal Education, 100.

Hendrix, K. G. (1998). Student perceptions of the influence of race on professor credibility. Journal of Black Studies, 28(6), 738-763.

Hurtado, S. (1996). How diversity affects teaching and learning: A climate of inclusion has a positive effect on learning outcomes. Educational Record, 77(4), 27-29.

Huston, T. (2005). Research report: Race and gender bias in student evaluations of teaching. Available from:

Huston, T. (2006). Race and gender bias in higher education: Could faculty course evaluations impede further progress toward parity? Seattle Journal for Social Justice, 4(2), 591-611.

Kardia, D. B., and Wright, M. C. (2004). Instructor identity: The impact of gender and race on faculty experiences with teaching. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

Kelly-Woessner, A., and Woessner, M. C. (2006). My professor is a partisan hack: How perceptions of a professor’s political views affect student course evaluations. PS: Political Science and Politics, 39(3), 495-501.

Kleinman, S., and Copp, M. (2009). Denying social harm: Students’ resistance to lessons about inequality. Teaching Sociology, 37, 283-293.

Lazos, S. R. (2012). Are student teaching evaluations holding back women and minorities? The perils of “doing” gender and race in the classroom. In Muhs, G. G., Niemann, Y. F., Gonzalez, C. G., & Harris, A. P. (Eds.), Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (p. 164-185).

Lilienfeld, E. (2016). How student evaluations are skewed against women and minority professors.

Littleford, L. N., Ong, K. S., Tseng, A., Milliken, J. C., & Humy, S. L. (2010). Perceptions of European American and African American instructors teaching race-focused courses. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 3, 230-244.

MacNell, L., Driscoll, A., and Hunt, A. N. (2015). What’s in a name: Exposing gender bias in student ratings of teaching. Innovative Higher Education, 40(4), 291-303.

McCabe, K. A., & Laynen L. S. (2012). The role of student evaluations in tenure and promotion: Is effective teaching really being measured? The Department Chair, 22(3), 17-20. DOI: 10.1002/dch.20045

Mengel, F., Sauermann, J., and Zölitz, U. (2017). Gender bias in teaching evaluations. Journal of European Economic Association. Retrieved from

Merritt, D. J. (2012). Bias, the brain, and student evaluations of teaching. St. John’s Law Review, 82(1). Available from:

Michalowski, R. (1977). A gentle pedagogy: Teaching critical criminology in the South. Crime and Social Justice, 7, 69-73.

Miller, J., & Chamberlin, M. (2000). Women are teachers, men are professors: A study of student perceptions. Teaching Sociology, 28, 283-298.

Mitchell, K. (2018, March 19). Student evaluations can’t be used to assess professors: our research shows they’re biased against women. That means using them is illegal. Slate.

Mitchell, K. M. W., and Martin, J. (2018). Gender bias in student evaluations. PS: Political Science and Politics, 51(3), 648-652.

Payne, B. K., and Gainey, R. R. (2000). Developing and dealing with controversial issues in criminal justice courses. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 11(2), 313-325.

Payne, B. K., and Gainey, R. R. (2003). Understanding and developing controversial issues in college courses. College Teaching, 51(2), 52-57.

Perry, G., Moore, H. A., Edwards, C., Acosta, K., and Frey, C. (2009). Maintaining credibility and authority as instructor of color in diversity-education classrooms: A qualitative inquiry. The Journal of Higher Education, 80(1), 80-105.

Perry, A. P., Wallace, S. L., Moore, S. E., & Perry-Burney, G. D. (2015). Understanding student evaluations: A black faculty perspective. Reflection, 20, 29-35.

Pittman, C. T. (2010). Race and gender oppression in the classroom: The experiences of women faculty of color with white male students. Teaching Sociology, 38(3), 183-196.

Rubin, D. L. (2001). Help! My professor (or doctor or boss) doesn’t talk English. In J. N. Martin, T. K. Nakayam, & L. A. Flores (Eds.), Readings in Cultural Contexts (pp.127-140). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Rubin, D. L., and Smith, K. A. (1990). Effects of accent, ethnicity, and lecture topic on undergraduates’ perceptions of nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 14, 337-353.

Romney, P., Tatum, B., and Jones, J. (1992). Feminist strategies for teaching about oppression: The importance of process. Women’s Studies Quarterly, 20(1/2), 95-110.

Smith, B. P., & Hawkins, B. (2011). Examining student evaluation of black college faculty: Does race matter? The Journal of Negro Education, 80, 149-162.

Statham, A., Richardson, L., and Cook, J. A. (1991). Gender and the university teaching: A negotiated difference. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Stark, P. B., and Freishtat, R. (2014). An evaluation of course evaluations. ScienceOpen. Available from:

Uttl, B., White, C. A., & Gonzalez, D. W. (2016). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation.

Williams, D. A. (2007). Examining the relation between race and student evaluations of faculty members: A literature review. Profession, 168-173.

Williams, J. E., Garza, L., Hodge, A. A., & Breaux, A. (1999). The color of teachers, the color of students: The multicultural classroom experience. Teaching Sociology, 27, 233-251.

Villalpando, O. (2002). The impact of diversity and multiculturalism on all students: Findings from a national study. NASPA Journal, 40(1), 124-144.