Collaborative e-learning - an opportunity to identify and to overcome gender barriers

Collaborative e-learning - an opportunity to identify and to overcome gender barriers

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Collaborative e-learning - an opportunity to identify and to overcome gender barriers Abstract: Considering gender as the social and culture-dependent construction of sex, gender mainstreaming in e-learning takes into consideration the gender perspective for all processes of e- learning. The gender approach does not ignore differences between the sexes but takes into account the distinctive features which have been developed under social and culture-related circumstances. We review the following hypotheses (using data from the Konstanz e-learning system K3): H1 There are gender- and domain-specific differences in course activity (confirmed); H2 Men, independently from their domain of study, tend to take over more prestigious roles in virtual group work, whereas women are willing to take more service-oriented roles (confirmed); H3 Men tend to be more initiative and critical in discourse whereas women act more cooperatively (only partially confirmed); H4 Gender composition in virtual group work has an effect on the performance of virtual work (further work need to be done). 1 Gender mainstreaming in e-learning Acc ording to the gender mainstreaming approach all measures taken in politics and in all kinds of organization have an influence on gender-specific problems and questions. Gender mainstreaming is not the same as promotion of women or a politics of equalization of women, but rather a politics of equalizing the opportunities for development both for men and women. „Contrary to existing policies for the promotion of women, gender mainstreaming intends to make the principles of equal rights the basis for all policies“ 1 . The gender concept in general, different from the bi-polar sex concept, considers differences between male and female behaviour and their norm/value system as socially and culture- dependently constructed. To establish equality between women and men is not a moral imperative only but „a worthy goal that is central to progress in human development“ and a „way to promote prosperity and well-being for all“ 2 . As a special application of this gender mainstreaming policy the German Federal Ministry for Science and Education (BMBF) has established a special program „New Media in Education“ and within this program gave special attention to gender-related aspects. In a special gender mainstreaming project for the new media in education a handbook for gender main-streaming in e-learning was developed [Wiesner et al. 2004]. One of the main objectives of this handbook is to anchor gender justice and gender equal opportunity as main targets of all organizations and in all e-learning projects 3 . Considering gender as the social and culture-dependent construction of sex, gender mainstreaming in e- learning takes into consideration the gender perspective for all aspects and processes of e-learning. Gender mainstreaming in e-learning thus aims at establishing equal opportunity for men and women not by ignoring differences between the sexes but by taking into account the distinctive features which have been developed over time and under
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2011 for the course PUK 202 taught by Professor Roth during the Spring '10 term at Universität Klagenfurt.

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Collaborative e-learning - an opportunity to identify and to overcome gender barriers

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