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Gender Equality in Online Learning Discussions

Here is a link to a 22-page online monograph “In a Different Voice?  Gender Equality in Online Learning” by Hamann et al of the University of Central Florida, 2003.

In a Different Voice? Gender Equality in Online Learning Kerstin Hamann Philip H. Pollock Bruce M. Wilson Department of Political Science University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 32816 ## email not listed ## Prepared for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 28-31, 2003.
Advocates of computer-mediated communication have seen great promise in its democratizing
effects on female participation in class discussions. Others have raised doubts about the
“democratization claim.” A review of the literature suggests that, on balance, the use of gender-
specific language in online interactions is highly context-dependent. Of particular interest is the
extent to which the manifestation of gender-typical rhetorical styles is shaped by the gender
composition of the online group. In this paper we report early findings from a continuing study
of male and female online discussion behavior. Our data, obtained from student postings to
fourteen discussion groups in four comparative politics courses, permitted us to perform a
content analysis of 554 messages containing 4,020 statements made by 126 students. In addition
to suggesting overall differences and surprising similarities between male and female discussion
styles, our preliminary findings point toward the productive effects of mixed-gender discussion
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