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Mitigating gender bias in student evaluations of teaching

Peterson, David A. M. and Biederman, Lori A. and Andersen, David and Ditonto, Tessa M. and Roe, Kevin (2019) 'Mitigating gender bias in student evaluations of teaching.', PLoS ONE., 14 (5). e0216241.


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.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:All files necessary to replicate the results are available from the Harvard Dataverse (
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© 2019 Peterson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date accepted:15 April 2019
Date deposited:15 October 2021
Date of first online publication:15 May 2019
Date first made open access:15 October 2021

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