You are here:

Gender Differences: Are They Diminished in Online Discussions?

, , , University of South Alabama, United States

International Journal on E-Learning Volume 2, Number 1, ISSN 1537-2456 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


The purpose of the study was to examine how female and male students (n = 13) participate in web-based discussions in a graduate course. The focus of this examination was to analyze the interactions of a mixed gender group in chats and threaded discussions that were drawn from 4 weeks over a semester. In addition, the focus was to discover whether there were differences by gender in terms of types of substantive (directly related to the topic) and non-substantive (not directly related to content) statements made as well as in the quantity of them. In addition, the students were surveyed about their computer and Internet experience level and attitudes toward the course content, organization and delivery. Results indicated that overall students' discussions included all substantive and non-substantive categories. For males and females, the greatest amounts of statements were in responding and reacting (2 substantive categories) overall. Results indicated only slight differences in gender with these two categories and tended to balance out over the four weeks. In non-substantive categories, females had slightly greater numbers of chatting and supportive comments than males. The female discussion leaders also showed a slight increase in those same two non-substantive categories than their male counterpart. For this study, gender differences in substantive and non-substantive statements appeared to diminish in both chats and threaded discussion.


Davidson-Shivers, G., Morris, S. & Sriwongkol, T. (2003). Gender Differences: Are They Diminished in Online Discussions?. International Journal on E-Learning, 2(1), 29-36. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved November 11, 2019 from .


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact