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:

  1. The student’s perception of their grade in the course. (The higher their grade, the more likely they will rate the teacher as excellent.)
  2. The gender of the instructor. (Overall, research has shown a bias to rate men as excellent teachers more often than women.)
  3. 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 address:

Part 2: Coming Soon!