An investigation into autonomy, gender, voice and learning in online course environments
Mary Jo Weffelmeyer, Webster University, United States
Webster University . Awarded
The number of online education courses available to those seeking higher education have been increasing exponentially, offering opportunities to students who would not otherwise have been able to do so, as well as offering options for those who may have been able to attend classes on campus, but would prefer to pursue their course of study at times outside those of the conventional classroom setting. The number of women entering college has increased as well. The confluence of more women seeking higher education and access to these additional venues (online and face-to-face), bears on the decision to further examine and replicate the 2005 research by Anderson and Haddad.
This study surveyed graduate students enrolled in online courses at a Midwestern university during the 2007 Spring 2 term. As with the Haddad research, this study also explored the power of voice as an intervening variable on perceived deep learning. The contribution of voice on perceived deep learning for females was not significantly greater in online than in face-to-face courses, but online voice predicted a very significant amount of the variance in perceived deep learning in online classes.
Adding to the five hypotheses of the Haddad study, an additional hypothesis was developed from the work of Margaret Martinez of The Training Place, Inc., which looked at a comparison of males and females enrolled in online courses on the construct of independence and learning autonomy. It was found that males had a significantly higher mean score than females.
Weffelmeyer, M.J. An investigation into autonomy, gender, voice and learning in online course environments. Ph.D. thesis, Webster University.
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