Mitigating gender bias in student evaluations of teaching

Date
2019-05-15
Authors
Peterson, David
Biederman, Lori
Andersen, David
Ditonto, Tessa
Roe, Kevin
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Abstract

Student evaluations of teaching are widely believed to contain gender bias. In this study, we conduct a randomized experiment with the student evaluations of teaching in four classes with large enrollments, two taught by male instructors and two taught by female instructors. In each of the courses, students were randomly assigned to either receive the standard evaluation instrument or the same instrument with language intended to reduce gender bias. Students in the anti-bias language condition had significantly higher rankings of female instructors than students in the standard treatment. There were no differences between treatment groups for male instructors. These results indicate that a relatively simple intervention in language can potentially mitigate gender bias in student evaluation of teaching.

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This article is published as Peterson, David A.M., Lori A. Biederman, David Andersen, Tessa M. Ditonto, and Kevin Roe. "Mitigating gender bias in student evaluations of teaching." PLoS One 14, no. 5 (2019): e0216241. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216241. Posted with permission.

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