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Project #1: Confounding Variables among Excellent Teachers
Every semester, The University of Illinois publishes a list of “Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students” based off of teacher evaluations done by students at the end of the semester. A teacher earns a spot on this by scoring above a set threshold (ex: above a 4.6/5.0 for an elective course).
Existing research by others suggests there are confounding variables beyond simply if the teacher is excellent at teaching. Besides being excellent at teaching:
- The student’s perception of their grade in the course. (The higher their grade, the more likely they will rate the teacher as excellent.)
- The gender of the instructor. (Overall, research has shown a bias to rate men as excellent teachers more often than women.)
- The height of the instructor. (Overall, research has shown a bias to rate taller teachers as excellent more often than shorter teachers.)
The class project question we want to answer: Does this research hold true for Illinois?
Part 1: Data Gathering
The most accurate source of data for The University of Illinois’ employment and “home department” is the Gray Book – the source of salary data for the University of Illinois. We have cleaned up the HTML into a clean CSV that we have shared with your @illinois.edu address:
- REMEMBER: This is a shared sheet with 20+ others, please just add your data without re-organizing the sheet.