The Role of Gender in Online Class Participation

Alex Helpin, Kate Jacobsen, Gianna Perri

Given the link between participation and academic achievement, we wanted to study factors that influence classroom participation. Many past studies have looked at the influence of student gender, gender majority of the class, and course type, but had mixed results. Because many of these studies only looked at two of the three variables, we decided to test all three at once. Participants read for different vignettes and responded to a participation likelihood scale after each. Results showed that for women participation is higher in classes that are female majority and/or humanities, as hypothesized. The results for male students were not expected. Male student participation in stem courses is higher in male majority classes, however, participation in humanities courses is higher in female majority classes. These findings may be due to male student attempts to manage their impression in different classroom settings. Future studies should include more intentional motivation questions to help understand the reasoning behind different levels of participation. 

One thought on “The Role of Gender in Online Class Participation

  1. Hello! This was a great presentation, but now I’m wondering about a potential follow up study that looks more into your ideas about Impression Management potentially being the root behind some of the more interesting findings of the study.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *