22 SES 07 F JS, Gender Issues in Higher Education
Joint Paper Session NW 22 and NW 27
The gender imbalance in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) careers is an enduring issue (European Commission 2013). The gender gap in ICT is mainly due to the masculine culture in education and work environments within the field (Faulkner 2011, Margolis&Fisher 2003) and to the persistent gender stereotypes that depict women as technologically incompetent (Clayton et al. 2012). Previous research conducted on our campus, which hosts a business and an engineering school (Télécom École de Management and Télécom SudParis), has shown that despite initiatives for equality, the ICT & gender stereotype is still prevalent among students. However, our results also give cause for optimism in so far as mechanisms to alter the status quo exist and are mobilised (McDonnell&Morley 2015, Morley&McDonnell 2016). With a view to deconstructing the ICT & gender stereotype in our students‘representations, we have developed an experimental online course, and more specifically a SPOC (Small_Private_Online_Course). Our students come from varied cultural and social backgrounds, and differ widely concerning customs, religion, family values and personal experience. We thus wanted to design a course that would take into account individual differences, in particular those concerning gender knowledge and personal ability to get involved in classroom discussions.
Our ten-week course, entitled “Feminine-Masculine in the digital world - a journey of discovery”, is in three parts. The first helps students discover the little known role of women in the history of computer science (1950-1970) in the United States and Europe, and comprehend when and why women were removed from the IT field. In the second part, students are led to question the gendering of a profession while discovering women’s involvement in IT occupations today (CIOs, CEOs and entrepreneurs in the digital sector etc.) and the gender balance in ICT jobs in Malaysia. The third part of the course focuses on stereotypes in the ICT world (how they work, what are the effects, what has changed today...), and students learn how to recognize and deconstruct these stereotypes. The course provides a framework for analysing stereotyped representations of ICT (in advertisements, posters, etc.) from a gender perspective.
The online lectures were delivered via videos, and each week, students were assigned a writing activity to be completed either individually, in small groups, or in a forum. At the end of ten online sessions, two face-to-face sessions were organised, during the first students presented their final group assignment (stereotype analysis of a document dealing with ICT), and during the second did the final written exam. The course was launched in January 2016, and a second session in September, with about 40 students attending each session. Both have been greatly appreciated by students.
The communication presents the results of our study of this experimental course aimed at reducing gender inequality using an innovative teaching technique. We have first assessed our pedagogy against the recommendations issued by researchers working on community of inquiry for an effective commitment of learners (Garrison&al. 2009, Pelz 2010), and we examine if and how the online course has been inclusive. Then, we have tried to identify whether our learning goals have been achieved. Our central research questions were: Has the course contributed to weakening the gender stereotype that links technology and masculinity in the participating students’ representations? Do female participants feel more empowered in the IT field? Have male participants become more aware of gender stereotypes in IT? Have students developed critical thinking on gender issues? Finally, we discuss the contribution of an online course to teaching gender issues, compared to face-to-face teaching, and the specific role of online teachers.
Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble and the subversion of identity. Routledge. Clayton, K., Beekhuyzen, J. & Nielsen, S. (2012). Now I know what ICT can do for me! Information Systems Journal, 22, 5, 375–390. European Commission (2013). «Wanted: more women in digital jobs. European Commission supports global Faulkner, W. (2011). Gender (in) authenticity, belonging and identity work in engineering. Brussels economic review, 54(2/3), 277-293. Garrison, D.R., T. Anderson & W. Archer (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education 2(2-3): 87–105. Garrison, D. R., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Fung, T. S. (2010). Exploring causal relationships among teaching, cognitive and social presence: Student perceptions of the community of inquiry framework. The internet and higher education, 13(1), 31-36. Girls in ICT Day». http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-380_en.htm Margolis, J., & Fisher, A. (2003). Unlocking the clubhouse: Women in computing. MIT press. McDonnell, M., & Morley, C. (2014). Men and women in IT entrepreneurship: consolidating and deconstructing gender stereotypes. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 24(1), 41-61. Morley, C., & Mc Donnell, M. (2016, June). Women inclusion in practice in technical settings within the environmental field. In EURAM 2016: European Academy of Management Conférence." Manageable cooperation?". Pelz, B. (2010). (My) three principles of effective online pedagogy. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 14(1), 103-116. West, C., & Zimmerman, D. H. (1987). Doing gender. Gender & Society, 1(2), 125-151.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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