Education On-Line: What's In It For Women? [chapter]

Helen J. Richardson, Sheila French
2000 Women, Work and Computerization  
UK government policies are heralding the use of leT's in education with the hope that on-line learning will bring skill development attractive to industry and improved employment opportunities for today's learners. One feature of this is increasing the use of technology in teaching and learning across the curriculum. In this atmosphere of euphoria and expectation, is this opportunity for all or just a few? There has been little empirical work on the gender impact of using technology in
more » ... hnology in education. This paper takes a case study approach and critically evaluates an on-line course developed for IT undergraduate students at the University of Salford, as part of a major flexible learning initiative. Our research raises many questions. Why should women students be motivated to learn using technology? Previous studies have suggested that boys show a marked improvement when using educational technology to support their learning. For girls the results are much less clear. In this context we questioned the gender impact of an increased use of technology in the teaching and learning process. We investigated the gender divide in attitudes, and effects on learning outcomes, within the initiative. We also discuss our evaluation methodology that included gender impact elements and suggest ways in which to create a woman-friendly on-line learning environment. 1. 300 E. Balka et al. (eds.), Women, Work and Computerization
doi:10.1007/978-0-387-35509-2_36 fatcat:jweltjmenfcebpcoty7vfjjczq