Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Gender gap in online class discussions

The Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus blog has a post titled "In STEM Courses, a Gender Gap in Online Class Discussions." The author describes the results of a recent study, and though it specifically looked at STEM courses, it also talks about the results in other classes. Some of the results:

  • Women are more likely than their male classmates to answer Piazza questions (Piazza is an online discussion platform used in many colleges) anonymously in computer-science and other STEM courses.
  • On average, women answer fewer questions than men in STEM and humanities courses, but more questions in social-science and business courses.

  • The study's authors suggest that the differences in behavior by gender represent a “gap in confidence” between women and men enrolled in courses.

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