Online Learning Update

May 26, 2011

Gender Differences in Student Discourse on Discussion Board and Blogs: An Instructor’s Quest to Create a Level Playing Field in a Hybrid Classroom

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Crystal Machado, JIOL

The widespread use of innovative web-based technology in recent years has led to significant changes in the way students learn, communicate, and interact with one another. This exploratory single subject Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) study, conducted in a hybrid graduate course, was designed to determine if web-based tools like Discussion Board and Weblogs afforded pedagogical benefits, and if these benefits extended equally to both males and females in the classroom. Data comprised of a total of 1,373 Discussion Board posts and 109 Weblog posts. Some interesting gender-related patterns were found. The findings, though not generalizable, are illustrative of the challenges instructors can face when experimenting with web-based technology in higher education classrooms.

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