Insight into gender differences in higher education: Evidence from peer reviews in an introductory STEM course

Jacqueline Ng Lane*, Bruce E Ankenman, Seyed MR Iravani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As the service industry moves toward self-service, peer feedback serves a critical role in this shift for educational services. Peer feedback is a process by which students provide feedback to each other. One of its major benefits is that it enables students to become actively involved in the learning and assessment process and play an integral role in the delivery and quality of their education. However, a primary concern is that students do not consistently provide each other with quality feedback, especially in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in which gender stereotypes may hinder the ability of women to provide critical peer feedback. A potential way to improve peer feedback is to create anonymous review settings. This study examines how anonymity alters the nature of peer feedback in a large introductory undergraduate statistics class for computer science and engineering majors. In this class, peers review a series of team video projects as either anonymous or nonanonymous reviewers. Our results show that female peer reviewers were more affected by the anonymity setting than the male peer reviewers. We discuss the implications of these findings for promoting greater participation and retention of women in underrepresented STEM disciplines and the design of effective peer-review processes for improved student achievement and satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-456
Number of pages15
JournalService Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Education
  • Gender differences
  • Peer reviews
  • STEM
  • Service operations
  • Service quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


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