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Mitigating gender bias in student evaluations of teaching

Peterson, David A.M.; Biederman, Lori A.; Andersen, David; Ditonto, Tessa M.; Roe, Kevin

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David A.M. Peterson

Lori A. Biederman

Kevin Roe


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.


Peterson, D. A., Biederman, L. A., Andersen, D., Ditonto, T. M., & Roe, K. (2019). Mitigating gender bias in student evaluations of teaching. PLoS ONE, 14(5), Article e0216241.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 15, 2019
Online Publication Date May 15, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Dec 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 15, 2021
Journal PLoS ONE
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 5
Article Number e0216241


Published Journal Article (800 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright 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.

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