Gender differences in E-learning: Communication, social presence, and learning outcomes

  • Johnson R
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Abstract

Although previous research has suggested that women may be at a learning disadvantage in e-learning environments, this study examines communication differences between women and men, arguing that women's communication patterns may provide them with a learning advantage. Using data from 303 males and 252 females, this paper discusses gender differences in course communication processes and course outcomesin a web-based introductory information systems course. Results indicate that women communicated more,perceived the environment to have greater social presence, were more satisfied with the course, found the course to be of greater value, and had marginally better performance than men. Despite the challenges facing women in e-learning environments, the results of this study suggest that e-learning environments that allow for peer to peer communication and connectedness can help females overcome some of these disadvantages. Implications for research and practice are also discussed. Copyright © 2011, IGI Global.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Communication
  • E-learning
  • Gender
  • Self-efficacy
  • Social presence
  • Training

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Authors

  • R D Johnson

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