Date of Award

Spring 2-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Third Advisor

Dr. Linda Caldwell

Abstract

Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) are the primary instrument used to measure teaching effectiveness by colleges and universities nationwide (Wallace, Lewis, & Allen, 2019). Many colleges and universities use the SET for personnel decisions regarding tenure, promotion, and termination. Yet, the possibility of implicit bias impacting the SET and resulting in discriminatory practices against marginalized faculty continues to be a concern for higher education (Mitchell & Martin, 2018). The effectiveness of the SET continues to be debated by faculty and administrators due to concerns about reliability, validity, and bias (Bonitz, 2011). This quantitative study was conducted to examine the influence of implicit bias on the SET. The goal of this study was to determine if students were more influenced by instructor characteristics than teaching effectiveness when completing the SET and to determine how faculty perceived student responses on the SET. During the fall 2019 semester, faculty and students in the Communication and World Languages department at a Missouri community college were asked to complete a survey. The results from the student survey indicated the students were influenced by instructor characteristics, and they preferred native English-speaking instructors. The results from the faculty survey indicated the faculty believed students were influenced more by instructor characteristics than by teaching effectiveness. The findings in this study may serve as a reminder that the SET is influenced by implicit bias; therefore, marginalized groups may be negatively affected by SET results.

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