Digital Racism: A Quantitative Analysis of the Extent that Perceptions of Student Race Influence Instructors Scoring of Online Posts

Gina M. Haughton


The purpose of the research was to investigate the extent in that racism exists or is present in higher education online courses when scoring online posts. The research question was: Digital racism: to what extent do perceptions of student race influence instructors scoring of online posts?The related research sub questions were:1. Was there a difference in how the student online posts were scored?2. Were there differences in how the participants in the scoring groups scored?3. Were there differences in scores based on the name assigned to an online post?The researcher utilized a quantitative research methodology that employed a 3 x 2 factorial design which incorporated two student online postings, a modified version of the 6+1 Traits Rubric® across three different scoring groups.The findings of the research suggested that regardless of the sample that scored the student online post, the same online post was always scored higher regardless of the student name that was assigned to the post. However, each time an online post was assigned the name DeShawn, the online post was scored higher. There was a statistically significant difference. This finding suggests that instructors have lower expectations for a student of color when assessing student work online. The implications for online scoring are to ensure that all instructors are well informed on best practices in multiculturalism and that instructors create high expectations for all students.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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