Voice in Digital Education: The Impact of Instructor's Perceived Age and Gender on Student Learning and Evaluation Journal Article uri icon



  • Instructor evaluations are influenced by implicit age and gender bias, with lower ratings and negative feedback given to instructors believed to stray from stereotypical age and gender norms. Female instructors exhibiting typically male‐associated qualities such as leadership and authority, are often negatively impacted. Implicit bias also influences evaluation of digital resources and instructors, regardless of students' positive learning outcomes. As digital learning resources become the norm in education, it is crucial to explore the impact of implicit bias at various educational levels. In this study, undergraduate and graduate students were randomly exposed to one of five digital tutorials; four experimental tutorials presenting identical anatomy content with narrators of different gender and age, and a control tutorial featuring origami (paper folding) instructions without audio. Learning outcomes were measured by pre‐quiz vs. post‐quiz comparisons using repeated measures MANOVA. Implicit bias was analyzed by evaluation response comparisons using repeated measures MANOVA and three‐way MANOVA. Post‐quiz scores increased significantly in the four experimental groups (P < 0.05) but not in the control (P = 0.99). The increased performance was not statistically different across the four experimental groups (P > 0.26), suggesting that learning occurred irrespective of the instructor gender and age. Students' evaluations were consistently higher for the experimental resources than the control. There was no significant difference in evaluations across the four experimental groups but compared to the control, younger male and younger female narrators received significantly higher ratings for approachability, acceptance, inclusivity, and care for student learning. The study highlights important considerations for digital resources development and interpretation of student evaluations.

publication date

  • January 1, 2020

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • January 24, 2021 11:14 AM

Full Author List

  • Weinkle LJ; Stratford JM; Lee LMJ

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1935-9772

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1935-9780

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 59

end page

  • 70


  • 13


  • 1