Interesting Findings: Male vs. Female in online learning

The 21st century is the century of technology and World Wide Web platform which is bringing changes into many realms. Probably, the most significant and useful changes were brought into educational field. The platforms of online learning, computer mediated collaborative learning and distance education are expanding with the speed of light. Due to the expansion of online learning environment, there have been much papers and reports written on this topic as well. At the rise of online learning programs and distance education, papers mostly focused on advantages and disadvantages of online learning, while now, when online learning has become inseparable part of whole educational system, there appeared papers discussing more specific and narrow topics in depth. One of those topics which I found interesting and worth sharing is about “Gender difference in online learning environment”

Several decades ago Internet was of mostly male usage, because of both male’s high interest and high technology literacy level. Recent studies show that Internet usage is shared equally among males and females. (Price, 2006) In contrast, for the past several years females are utilizing more the services of online learning. It is explained by the fact that female students execute and balance many functions like: being a mother, wife and employee at the same time. (Yukselturk & Bulut, 2009) It seems that online learning is the most convenient mode of learning that allows women to combine studies with the rest multifunctional roles. (Kramarae, 2003; Rickert & Sacharow, 2000; Price, 2006 as cited in Yukselturk & Bulut, 2009)

The study by Yukselturk and Bulut (2009) “Gender differences in self-regulated online learning environment” analyzed this topic in terms self- regulated learning components, motivational beliefs and achievement in self-regulated learning environment. The findings do not report significant differences in motivational beliefs and achievement relatively to online learning. In contrast, the study by Price (2006) “Gender differences and similarities in online courses: challenging stereotypical views of women” refutes the stereotypical view that women are less successful in sciences and technology. Moreover, the study also found that female students even outperform their male counterparts in online learning (Price, 2006). As a reason the study points to the significant difference in the way males and females participate and perform tasks in computer mediated communication, for instance, women posted and read more messages than males.(Kramarae, 2003; Sulluvan, 2001 as cited in Price, 2006)

Overall, I think, despite the differences in performance and in the ways male and female work on online platform, we cannot deny that both male and female benefit a lot from online learning environment in terms of knowledge acquisition and time management. What do you think about these findings?

Reference

Price, L. (2006). Gender differences and similarities in online courses: Challenging stereotypical views of women. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 349-359.
Yukselturk, E., & Bulut, S. (2009). Gender Differences in Self-Regulated Online Learning Environment. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (3), 12–22.
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4 thoughts on “Interesting Findings: Male vs. Female in online learning

  1. Dear Botagoz,

    you have found very interesting papers. As an active user of online learning environments and ICT teacher, I can say that usage of online tools varies depending on the users’ interest and skills. It is hard to answer the question, whether students benefit from online learning. I believe that if online learning and face-to-face learning are used as a part of so-called “blended learning” then it would be more beneficial for learners. Distant learning can just support the skills that students already have, but only real classroom learning can provide real interaction between the members of the learning environment.

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    1. Dear Yeraly,

      Certainly, number of read and posted messages cannot show the extent of benefit from online learning. This is just the difference in the way male and female use online learning. I think, very little the articles can tell us about the gender difference in online learning. The journals probably are not interested in publishing the articles with non-significant differences. Yet, thereare huge number of papers still which have found insignificant differences. ANd these two are only different ones.

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  2. Botagoz,

    Nice thesis statement at the end of your nice introduction. You summarized the original works well. The writing overall is clear. Now I understand better the gender differences. I wondered, though, if you found any drawbacks of e-learning for women. The assignment called for main strengths and drawbacks.

    You said: (much) papers and reports written on this topic. Papers and reports are count nouns, so use MANY.

    You write: Several decades ago Internet was of mostly male usage.
    Revision for clarity: Several decades ago, most Internet users were male.

    You write: In contrast, for the past several years females are utilizing more the services of online learning.
    Revised verb tense. In contrast, for the past several years, females HAVE BEEN UTILIZING….

    You type:
    It seems that online learning is the most convenient mode of learning that allows women to combine studies with the rest multifunctional roles. (Kramarae, 2003; Rickert & Sacharow, 2000; Price, 2006 as cited in Yukselturk & Bulut, 2009)

    The in-text citation is confusing to me. APA guidelines say that “If you use a source that was cited in another source (a secondary source), name the original source in your signal phrase. List the secondary source in your reference list and include it in your in-text citation, preceded by the words “as cited in.”

    So—–your in-text citation would read: Kramarae (2003) and Rickert & Sacharow (2000) claim that on-line learning is the most convenient mode of learning that allows women to combine studies with multifunctional roles (as cited in Yukselturk & Bulut, 2009). I see this sort of citation in the last body paragraph too. Instead of relying on secondary sources, why not read the original??

    Italicize the name of the journal in your second reference entry.

    4 out of 5

    Like

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