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Making the technology-intensive class gender-neutral
Proceedings: ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
  • Maxine S. Cohen, Nova Southeastern University
  • Timothy J. Ellis, Nova Southeastern University
Event Location / Date(s)
Milwaukee, WI / October 10-13, 2007
Document Type
Conference Proceeding
Presentation Date
Women are under-represented in technology- intensive fields. A possible cause might be gender differences. Men and women have differing approaches to communication which persist in the virtual world of online education. A second possible cause is gender discrimination. In male-dominated fields such as engineering, this difference can result in men discounting the contributions of their female classmates, thus creating a chilling effect. Communication in an asynchronous learning network (ALN) is different from face-to-face communication. Incorporating asynchronous communication elements in a technology-intensive class presents the potential to create an environment that could be more amenable to the woman student. Creating an environment that engenders social presence could make the class more amenable to the learning needs of the woman student. This research reports on a study with doctoral level students in both a technology intensive class and a more people-oriented class. The results of the study indicate that although both men and women registered the same degree of social presence regardless of the type of class, the technology-intensive classes displayed significantly less social presence unless assignments were structured to specifically promote that type of interactivity.

Conference website:

Publisher Information: Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.

Citation Information
Maxine S. Cohen and Timothy J. Ellis. "Making the technology-intensive class gender-neutral" Proceedings: ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (2007) p. F1G-1 - F1G-6
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