NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED592251
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 46
Abstractor: As Provided
Bias in Online Classes: Evidence from a Field Experiment. CEPA Working Paper No. 18-03
Baker, Rachel; Dee, Thomas; Evans, Brent; John, June
Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis
While online learning environments are increasingly common, relatively little is known about issues of equity in these settings. We test for the presence of race and gender biases among postsecondary students and instructors in online classes by measuring student and instructor responses to discussion comments we posted in the discussion forums of 124 different online courses. Each comment was randomly assigned a student name connoting a specific race and gender. We find that instructors are 94% more likely to respond to forum posts by White male students. In contrast, we do not find general evidence of biases in student responses. However, we do find that comments placed by White females are more likely to receive a response from White female peers. We discuss the implications of our findings for our understanding of social identity dynamics in classrooms and the design of equitable online learning environments.
Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis. 520 Galvez Mall, CERAS Building, 5th Floor, Stanford, CA 94305. Tel: 650-736-1258; Fax: 650-723-9931; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA)
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B140009