Racial bias in online education revealed by new study

March 9, 2018

While many proponents of online education have argued that it is a great educational leveller, new research suggests that racial and gender biases persist in course discussions. The study found that instructors are 94% more likely to respond to discussion forum posts by white male students than by other students. “Our results show compelling experimental evidence that instructor discrimination exists in discussion forums of online classrooms,” says the paper. “Simply attaching a name that connotes a specific race and gender to a discussion forum post changes the likelihood that an instructor will respond to that post.” The paper also notes that the gap in instructor response rates was the same across various subject areas. Inside Higher Ed