Asynchronous, computer-mediated communication (CMC)-based higher education at a distance: Gender differences in preferred learning styles, participation barriers, and communication patterns
Kimberly Dawn Blum, Walden University, United States
Walden University . Awarded
This research project is an interpretative qualitative case study of higher education students learning through asynchronous, computer mediated communication (CMC)-based distance education. Subjects consisted of adult professionals studying for bachelor's and master's degrees. Male and female preferred learning styles, communication patterns, and participation barriers (Cross, 1981) were compared for differences by gender. On-line differences were contrasted with traditional gender differences in face-to-face (F2F) higher education learning environments. Results of content analysis on 1 year of on-line student student messages suggested there are gender differences between male and female distance education students. Results supported Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger and Tarule's model of the male separate learner and the female connected learner, indicating that unlike traditional higher education, the distance education learning environment is flexible enough for gender-specific learning styles; found higher dispositional, situational, and institutional barriers for female distance education students, and, similar to traditional face-to-face higher education, the on-line learning environment is dominated by males. Implications for practice are discussed.
Blum, K.D. Asynchronous, computer-mediated communication (CMC)-based higher education at a distance: Gender differences in preferred learning styles, participation barriers, and communication patterns. Ph.D. thesis, Walden University.
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