Author: GLE Team | Published on 1 December 2023


We assess our learners, so we know that they are able to achieve the learning objective. We need to be able to do this quickly, efficiently and fairly for our learners to continue to make progress and so that we can evaluate and adapt our lessons accordingly. 

Being aware of our own bias is important to make sure that we assess all learners fairly. 

Stage 1: Ensure that your assessment matches the learning objectives set and is clear

Think carefully about the assessment methods you might use (quizzes, oral exams, questions, essays) and ensure that what you select matches the learning objective you want to assess. Make sure all of your learners understand what they are being assessed on and for. 

Stage 2: Assessment must be fair

Learners of all genders must have equal opportunity to do well on the assessment. This means that everyone must have access to the learning materials they need to learn the content and the time to use them. All content being assessed should be taught in class and learners that have missed content must be given an opportunity to catch up before the assessment. 

Stage 3: Assessment tasks must be free from bias

The assessment activities or questions must not be offensive or biased in any way. This means they should not use words that could be offensive to learners of different genders or different backgrounds. As an educator make yourself aware of your own biases, perceptions and expectations of learners of different genders. This is also often based on typical gender roles found in your context and may affect how you perceive the abilities of learners of different genders. Educators should implement strategies to stay objective, not looking at students’ names before grading their assessments. Creating and setting specific marking criteria and sharing this with learners before an assessment can help reduce the effect of gender bias. 

Stage 4: Provide Constructive Feedback on Assessments

Learners should receive the outcome and feedback of their learning assessment as soon as possible after the assessment so that they know how they are doing and have the opportunity to improve. Use the marking criteria developed to show learners exactly what they have achieved well and where they can improve. Set consistent expectations and performance standards for learners of all genders.  Provide specific strategies, areas of learning and content that learners can engage with to improve so that they have information and direction needed to make progress. 


Gender Stereotypes: a generalised view or preconception about attributes or characteristics, or the roles that are or ought to be possessed by, or performed by, women and men. A gender stereotype is harmful when it limits learners’ capacity to develop their personal abilities, pursue their education opportunities, professional careers and/or make choices about their lives.

Gender Norms: ideas, standards and expectations to which women and men generally conform and how they should act within a range that defines a particular society, culture and community at that point in time. They are often internalised early in life, gender norms can establish a life cycle of gender socialisation and stereotyping.

Gender Bias: Refers to a person receiving different treatment based on the person's real or perceived gender identity.

Want to know more about the GLE Team?

In a groundbreaking initiative, the British Council, under the English Connects programme, undertook a transformative mission to champion gender-inclusive practices in Sub-Saharan Africa with a cohort of 41 dedicated teacher educators and teachers from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Sudan. This dynamic group referred to as the GLE Team worked together to design this resource.

Read about our Creating Gender Pedagogy Resources for Teachers project: