ERIC Number: ED458237
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Analysis of Discussion Items by Males and Females in Online College Courses.
McAllister, Catherine; Ting, Evelyn
Proponents of computer-mediated education suggest that the reflectivity, interactivity, and collaboration of online discussion provide an egalitarian learning environment for men and women. Others suggest that on-line discussion contains the same gender bias as face-to-face classroom communication. This study analyzed the 456 discussion postings of 34 students in 2 online college courses. Each discussion posting was analyzed for seven variables: frequency, length, readability, audience, purpose, reference, and format. Male and female discussion items differed significantly in length, use of indicators to specify a particular reader, purpose, and use of formal signature. Male and female discussion items did not differ in frequency, readability, intended audience, or references to personal experience or outside sources. From this preliminary study, a number of additional items are identified for investigation. Five appendixes contain figures illustrating points of the discussion. (Contains 10 tables and 29 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).