Gender Differences in Student Discourse on Discussion Board and Blogs: An Instructor’s Quest to Create a Level Playing Field in a Hybrid Classroom

Crystal Machado
Indiana University of Pennsylvania


The widespread use of innovative web-based technology in recent years has led to significant changes in the way students learn, communicate, and interact with one another. This exploratory single subject Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) study, conducted in a hybrid graduate course, was designed to determine if web-based tools like Discussion Board and Weblogs afforded pedagogical benefits, and if these benefits extended equally to both males and females in the classroom. Also, it was used to code a total of 1,373 Discussion Board posts and 109 Weblog posts. Some interesting gender-related patterns were found. The findings, though not generalizable, are illustrative of the challenges instructors can face when experimenting with web-based technology in higher education classrooms. This study adds to the growing body of classroom research devoted to gender and online learning.

About the Author(s)...

Crystal Machado is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in the pedagogical benefits of web-based technology, critical thinking and reflective practice, multicultural and global education, organizational change, and school renewal. She enjoys working on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects that involve her students. She teaches courses in research and evaluation, multicultural education and curriculum and instruction. She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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