Gender differences between participation in face-to-face and web-based classroom discussions were examined, by comparing the men-women actual participation ratio to the men-women attendance (or login) ratio. It was found that men over-proportionally spoke at the face-to-face classroom whereas women over-proportionally posted messages in the web-based conference. Two alternative explanations are discussed. It is suggested that either women prefer written communication more than men do, or that women prefer written communication over spoken communication. Nonetheless, despite some advantages of virtual discussions, especially for women, the online environment is apparently not attractive enough for either gender.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a Grant from the Chais Research Center for the Integration of Technologies in Education. We thank Asi Schupak and Gila Haimovic for their help.
- Computer-mediated communication
- Distance education
- Gender studies
- Pedagogical issues