Class 2.0 in Ukraine: Gender Analysis
Class 2.0 in
Ukraine: Gender Analysis // Femmes et Nouveau Médias (ed. Fatima Sadiqi).
- Fez: Rutledge, 2012. – P.131-154.
paper presents a description of action research project (ARP) conducted on the
base of Upper BA Course (four-year students) in Business Communication
delivered in one of technical universities in Ukraine (winter-spring
The collaborative activity within e-Learning 2.0 provides the key object for ARP.
The ARP main objectives are to trace the assumed gender peculiarities in online
collaboration and try to evaluate them relating to the effectiveness of e-Learning
2.0 and development of gender-friendly model of learning within local context.
The main ARP results reveal the existence of Gender Digital Divide (GDD) in
that local tertiary is one of the weakest points deepening GDD within the local
context. However this is the man not the woman who needs currently more
attention and care in Ukrainian tertiary. The intensive e-Learning 2.0
implementation into the local tertiary can be rendered as an effective step to
narrow the existing GDD in Ukraine.
Cochrane declares that “…teaching and learning innovations are best implemented
when informed by learning theory” (Cochrane 2008: 31). The social
constructionist approach towards viewing both gender and learning provides the
theoretical foundation for this research.
do we apply namely to action research methodology? Usually it
is exploited by scholars for preliminary or pilot research, especially when the
situation is too ambiguous to frame a precise research question like in
grounding theory (O’Brien 2001). According to its principles, it is used when
circumstances require flexibility, the involvement of the people in the
research, or change must take place quickly or holistically (Ibid). Say it
simply action research means “learning by doing” - a group of people identify a
problem, do something to resolve it, see how successful their efforts were, and
if not satisfied, start again. A more precise definition sounds as: "Action
research aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an
immediate problematic situation and to further the goals of social science
simultaneously. Thus, there is a dual commitment in action research to study a
system and concurrently to collaborate with members of the system in changing
it in what is together regarded as a desirable direction. Accomplishing this
twin goal requires the active collaboration of researcher and client, and thus
it stresses the importance of co-learning as a primary aspect of the research
process" (Gilmore, Krantz and Ramirez 1986:
emphasizes that a couple of items distinguish action research methodology from
other types of research (O’Brien 2001). Firstly, it focuses on turning the
people involved into researchers. Secondly, learners study better, and more
willingly apply what they have learned, when they do it themselves. Thirdly, this
methodology possesses also a social dimension - the research takes place in
real-setting, and targets to solve real problems. Finally, the initiating
researcher, unlike in other disciplines, makes no attempt to remain objective,
but openly acknowledges their bias to the other learners (Ibid).
for theoretic framework notions of gender,
learning, and cyberspace are viewed as social constructs. Additionally
notions of community of practice (Wenger), virtual community of
practice (Brown), e-Learning 2.0 (Downes), and gender-friendly
online class (Blum) are exploited in this research as leading terms.
social-constructivist pedagogy social software (interactive collaborative
software) is one of the key features of what has been coined as Web 2.0
according to its creator Tim O'Reilly (2005). This social software includes
blogs, social networks, wikis, RSS, instant messaging, podcasting, social book
marking, Skype, etc. Under the deep influence of web 2.0 services the concept
of e-Learning starts transforming drastically into a new educational model
based on the conceptual principles of web 2.0 (mutual contributing,
collaborating, creating (Hargadon 2008)). This new format is coined as e-Learning
2.0 similarly to the term web 2.0 that initiates this new learning format (Downes
2005). It is characterized by such features as interactivity, openness,
connectivity and collaborative nature that constitute pedagogical
foundation for e-Learning 2.0. Thus e-Learning 2.0 inherits greatly all basic
features of web 2.0, and e-learning 2.0 pedagogical model focuses upon
enhancing interactivity, networking and collaboration online. To be effective
this model also must be student-centred, knowledge-centred, assessment-centred
and community-centred as a number of scholars argue (Sharples, Taylor,
Vavoula 2005). One can consider that the same principles are applied towards gender-friendly
model of education (Blum 1999; Bender 2003; Statham,
et al. 1991; Yates 2001; Hongbo 2006; Goroshko
2008) increasing “gender-friendlessness” of
learning in itself.
Collaboration in e-Learning 2.0
it is a collaborative approach in pedagogy that provides the basic requirements
towards e-Learning 2.0. Collaborative learning in this research is viewed
within the framework of Ted Panitz’s approach where principles of delegating
authority, acceptance of responsibility, and consensus building through
cooperation by group members provide an effective foundation for learning
(Panitz 1996: 7).
can consider collaborative learning as inseparable, intrinsic, conceptually
inbuilt part of e-Learning 2.0. Without collaboration it is impossible to use
effectively this format of education. However for local education this
collaborative approach has been implemented into educational system only recently
since Ukrainian education from the Soviet time possesses a number of features
which are opposing to the learner-centred model of education. Local educational
system is based mainly on a teacher-centred approach to learning, lecturing
format of information delivery, low technical support of learning including ICT,
rigid hierarchic structure of managerial system (Goroshko 2008). Furthermore team-working
activity based on collaboration in learning is neither widely used nor encouraged
in Ukrainian higher education. Therefore one can hypothesize that the
implementation of e-Learning 2.0 into local educational context will facilitate
its transformation with the following integration into the common European
educational space (The Bologna Process, which is a must to Ukraine), and put
into practice step by step a gender-friendly model of education since strong
patriarchy stereotypes dominate in Ukrainian pedagogy (Bystydzienski
2003; Goroshko 2008). It remains rather
unfriendly towards women, and gender-biased (Goroshko 2008). In general,
according to Gender Gap Index 2010 Ukraine occupies 63 places out of 134
countries (Gender Gap Index 2010: 301). Jill Bystydzienski argues that
“Ukrainian women are subject to many formal and informal barriers to their
political and economic participation, yet there is very little awareness in the
country, including in higher education, regarding the conditions and processes
that create and maintain gender inequality. Women and men are differently
located in the emerging economy (women are found usually in the small-scale,
service sector) and are differently imagined as citizens, while politics is
being redefined as a masculine endeavour. An important result of continuing
disadvantaged position of, and discrimination against, women is the loss of
potential talent and human capital to the political institutions and economies
in transition to meet the challenges that lie ahead” (Bystydzienski 2003: 3).
The situation practically remains the same eight years on.
Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoP)
is considered that collaborative principles provide the foundation not only for
e-Learning 2.0 but also for Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoP) model
functioning. This term coined in this century describes communities of practice
functioning through the Net (Brown 2005). Usually this term VCoP describes a
certain community initiated and based on collaborative human co-shared online
and offline activities of any kind. Etienne Wenger argues that “communities of
practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in
a shared domain of human endeavour” (Wenger 1998: 87; 2002). Richard Brown
applies this term towards virtual reality keeping all basic principle of CoP
notion structure. A share, concern, or passion for
something that people intend to do or learn how to do provides the base for the
CoP model functioning. And “learning can be the reason for the community”, as
P. Brown declares (Brown 2005: 1). Not all groups but just only the special
groups can be identified as a community of practice. There are three key
notions which define this type of union (group): domain, community and practice.
Thus the functioning of VCoP is based on co-sharing activity, and commitment to
the same principles, interests, and ideas. VCoP produces a shared set
(repertoire) of knowledge, experiences, stories, tools, ways of thinking, etc.
or — in short a shared practice as Brown defines it. Hence a
collaborative online class or Class 2.0 can be viewed as a VCoP, since it meets
all requirements specified above: its members are engaged into common shared
activity and practice off- and online, committed to common (shared) goals,
ideas and interests through a substantial period of time, and reproduce regularly
the same activity.
VCoP and Gender
notions of gender and gender-friendly learning environment can be
viewed also through VCoP model. Thus, Victoria Bergvall declares that CoP
approach in gender and communication research concentrates on the constructive
practices of a group – especially mutual engagement of learning as a jointly
negotiated practice of gender (Bergvall 1999: 273; Holmes, Meyerhoff 1999).
Rather than taking gender differences for granted (gender determinism), this
approach specifies the learning and mutability gendered displays across groups
or communities. This approach naturalizes intrinsic group variations not
marking them as deviant (Holmes & Meyerhoff 1999; Eckert & McConell-Ginet
1999). It is viewed as rather effective for gender peculiarities on and offline
Gender and Gender Learning Off and Online
speaking there are three dominating approaches surrounding gender issues on the
Net: The demographic agora, the male mystique, and the female
frontier. Thus, Kirsteen Monteith argues that research data concerning the
impact of gender on the Internet currently can be divided into three major
The first theory maintains that the
Internet is gender neutral, and that women and men can use or participate
online on equal bases;
The second theory considers the virtual
realm as a reflection of the offline world where men and women operate on
unequal terms, and men dominate (Monteith 2002; King 2000: 2);
The third theory suggests that the
Internet may be seen as a female domain less as a superhighway and more as a cosy
village square, where people meet, talk, and learn, a meeting point,
a place “where women are making and moving into a digital lifestyle that
was previously perceived as a men’s club” (Spender 2000; Monteith 2002: 16).
review of the literature concerning gender and CMC testifies that men’s and
women’s communication differs but it is not the mirror of face-to-face (FtF)
differences (Peddle 1997; Brown 1998). Simultaneously one of the most
widespread approaches towards viewing gender in education is based on considering
gender as social and cultural construction of sex (Maher, Tetrault 1994; Meßmer, Schmitz 2004;
Kuhlen 2006). Gender mainstreaming in e-Learning considers the gender
perspective for all aspects and processes of e-Learning (Kuhlen 2006). It aims as
Rainer Kuhlen emphasises “at establishing equal opportunities for men and women
not by ignoring differences between the sexes but by taking into account the distinctive
features which have been developed over time and under social and
culture-related circumstances” (Ibid: 1). Within this theoretic framework the
concept of potential provides a basic prerequisite for gender-friendly
model of education (Metz-Göckel and Roloff 1995). It argues that both
genders (females and males) have the same potential for a great number of aspects
in development at their disposal. However the realization of these potentials is
stipulated socially and culturally as gender in itself depends on social
circumstances and culture-dependent value systems. Therefore gender-specific
behaviour in e-learning (such as taking initiatives in group processes,
multitasking, delegating authorities or having preferences for domain-specific
knowledge and programs) is mainly not sex-related, but is permanently
constructed in social interaction (Kuhlen 2006: 1).
delineates a number of principal research questions addressed in the emerging problem-area
of gendered e-Learning:
“What are some of the differences in
communication styles between men and women in online environments?
Men and women have different ways of
"knowing" and learning. How does this translate in an online
Does an online environment facilitate or
hinder women's way of learning?
Is gender important in online learning?
How do we manage our identity online?
What motivates women to learn online?
Are these the same things that motivate men?
What are the characteristics of women
who are successful as online learners? Are success factors different between
men and women?” (Ibid: 7).
literature analysis shows there are a lot of gender differences with respect to
ICT and e-learning generally (Blum 1999; Monteith 2002; Hongbo 2006; Goroshko
2008). Some findings from research testify the following: there are a lot of
discrepancies between male and female perspectives and visions of e-learning
(Blum 1999; Hongbo 2006). Primarily female perception of e-Learning was more
positive than the male attitude (Blum 1999). There were differences in
self-assessment of ICT competence, self-confidence, commitments to computer
science, general attitudes towards computers and professional ICT training, and
expectations from the use of ICT (Derichs-Kunstmann/Auszra 1999;
Dickhäuser 2001; Beyer et al. 2003; Henderson 2005). Definitely males were
more positive in all mentioned positions concerning attitudes towards ICT.
scholars say about gender biases in the culture of learning (Derichs-Kunstmann/Auszra
1999, Blum 1999; Bender 2003). Thus male learning culture is characterized as:
Tendency to dominant behaviour in educational situations, more frequent
take-over of monitoring discourse, longer and more frequent contributions in
discourse. Men are more often involved into development of enforcement
strategies and elaboration and maintenance of competitive relations. They
incline to competitive behaviour and desire to impress others.
learning culture is depicted by such features as a tendency to cooperative
behaviour and orientation, preference for group work, willingness to be
responsible for ongoing discourse and to discuss topics, supportive of others.
Their contributions in discourse are shorter. Women are more open for proposals
of other people and for cooperative work in general (Herring 2011). They care
also for a just distribution of learning tasks.
Susan C. Herring highlights two studies that found that men contribute
significantly more to online discussion: “It isn't that women don't have ideas
and/or a fact to share with others, but rather that the environment’s tone
tends to drive women away” (Herring 2011). Thus, men tended to assert their
opinions as “facts,” whereas women tended to phrase their informative messages
as suggestions, offers, and other non-assertive acts. Herring specifies towards
the Facebook service that women share information, but they also socialize and
support one another. In other words, the gender difference was in their
communication styles, not in the actual informativeness of their contributions.
The scholar viewing a social media based learning experience recommends
considering the next when establishing the norms for the collaborative space:
“Ensure that no one uses rude, intimidating language or challenges others,
provide the ability to control the communication, and encourage social
consultancy” (Ibid). Herring argues that “the Wikipedia model of neutral facts
concentrated in a single site may someday be superseded by knowledge-sharing
environments with women as the primary contributors” (Ibid).
peculiarities are fixed between individual vs. group learning activities (Brenda
2003; Henderson 2005; Ella et al 2007). Additional a lot of differences are
found in male and female e-learning and ICT experiences, students’ motivation and
learning cultures (Blum 1999; Kirkup 2004; Kuhlen 2006; Goroshko 2008, Herring
Gender and Collaboration Off- and Online
for gender aspects of collaborative learning many gender peculiarities in
collaborative activity offline are fixed but there is very scarce research and
data concerning gendered collaboration online especially within learning
setting. Hence namely online gendered collaboration class activity is chosen
for this study owing to the lack of relevant scientific data within local
results obtained through English-speaking context are also inconsiderable in
number. They indicate that gender really influences motivation, participation
and successful completion of the online project (Ditto 2004; Vermeulen 2008;
Hsu & Wang 2003). In a number of studies it is revealed that gender really
influences learning motivation, computer skills, learning behaviour, and the
level of participation in online class (Maher & Tetrault, 1994; Savicki
1996; Yates 2001). It is shown also that the duration of the study, the nature
of the task involved, and, cultural effects or the combination of those factors
may be connected with gender variable (Hsu & Wang 2003: 34). Kimberly Dawn Blum
(1999) says that females are more empathetic and collaborative, rather than
competitive unlike males.
main summary of gender impact on CMC and online learning can be formulated as
women and men interact in different ways in e-learning. Trisha Bender also
declares “that if one can observe the same features on FtF and e-classes it can
be inferred that e-Learning possesses a collaborative potential, this can be
made enormous use of by female learners who enjoy interaction and sharing as
their primary learning style. Any women who initially hampered by low confidence
levels in their academic and technical abilities might benefit from having an
online mentor or student partner to help them over the hurdles”. The online
tutor, teacher or instructor has the job to encourage the collaboration between
women and stimulate the independent work of male learners. However this
suggestion by Bender presupposes gender differences as a starting point. One
can declare it must be more augmented comprehensive and not so essentialist approach
towards gender online without presupposition of existing gender biases as sui
Rovai researches the dynamics of classroom community during a short
graduate-level distance class. In this study female students manifest a
stronger sense of community than their male counterparts both at the start and
end of the course. Simultaneously female students demonstrate a mostly
connected communication patterns while male students show mostly independent
ones (Rovai 2002).
Marttunen and Leena Laurinen study how Finish students practice argumentation
in two e-mail learning groups as a part of academic debate class. In this
research female students demonstrate agreement more often than male students,
while counterattacking and elaborative neutrality are more common among males
(Marttunen, Laurinen 2001).
is also testified that culture impacts greatly on the collaboration online.
Let’s say in reserved Arabic societies cross gender
socialization is neither widespread nor encouraged as Eshaa M. Alkhalifa points
out (Alkhalifa w.d.). However in her own research the effects of cross-gender
online collaboration are tested on a group of students working towards a common
goal. The research reveals that namely female students demonstrate a clear
improvement in learning in comparison with those who don’t participate in the Bulletin
Board discussion (Ibid: 1). Also the research reveals the effect of group
composition on male and female online and offline learning. Stephen J. Bostock
and Wu Lizhi study the learning activity through a large online course, where students
are divided into 18 asynchronous online discussion groups with different gender
proportions. The number and cognitive content of student messages are
investigated. The research indicates that females write more messages than
males with no difference in the cognitive quality of message content. In mixed
groups, females wrote fewer messages than in all-female groups but males wrote
more messages than in all-male groups (Bostock, Lizhi 2005). Additionally the
research testifies that females tend to prefer online discussions and performed
better than males in other learning activities. However, females said they were
less confident in using computers in general, and had a greater preference for
paper over wholly online work (Ibid: 83). The study conducted by Ella, Roberta
and Andrea reveals that gender composition of online group influences the
effectiveness of e-Learning also (Ella et al 2007: 33).
format of learning – FtF, distance or blended - also impacts
gender collaboration online. Richard Ocker and George Yaverbaum investigate
male and female students’ experiences in FtF and distance asynchronous
collaborative activities through business course. The results show that women
are less satisfied than men with FtF collaborative work but more done with
online activity. The scholars explain these findings by the supposition that
asynchronous educational setting creates more opportunities for more equal
participation (Ocker and Yaverbaum 2002).
E. Wanstreet and David S. Stein in their research address the implications of
gender on participation, collaboration, and ultimately shared understanding and
propose a framework of in which to examine collaborative knowledge building.
They use the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model as the basis of this study
values collaborative learning through discussion. They render that namely the
CoI framework assumes that learning occurs through the inter-action of three
overlapping elements: teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence.
The main result testifies that collaborative knowledge building depends more on
the learning context and group member role than on gender exclusively
(Wanstreet, Stein 2011).
for metadata in this subject area Olaf Zawacki‐Richter
and Christine von Prümmer
explore the associations between gender, collaboration and research methods in
distance education investigation. Their study is based on a review of 695 working
papers published in five leading distance education journals in the period between
2000 and 2008. It enlightens a significant trend towards collaborative research
in distance education. There are no significant gender differences regarding
the number of co‐authors
of collaborative papers. However female researchers significantly choose wider
range of topics than their male colleagues. This study also shows that women
in research areas such as learner characteristics, learner support or interaction,
and communication in learning communities, while men are more concerned with
topics stereotypically associated with them: technology and management. There
is a significant propensity for female researchers to use qualitative methods
or to triangulate qualitative and quantitative methods. Research methods also
affect collaboration. On average, research teams on quantitative projects are
significantly larger than those who produce articles that are qualitative in
This meta-study enlightens the topicality of gendered collaborative research
on- and offline.
it is necessary to stress there are no studies conducted on regular base
especially across cultures about the influence of gender on collaborative
learning online through e-learning 2.0 context.
project novelty is in the combination of gender and collaborative e-Learning
2.0 activity research within
VCoP model. There are no data found about gender impacts on e-Learning
2.0 practices particularly in local educational paradigm. Also a collaboration
approach is rendered as an effective facilitating tool to make e-Learning 2.0
more gender-friendly. In this research the virtual community of practice formed
through collaborative e-Learning 2.0 activities is coined as Class 2.0.
data obtained through the course teaching with the help of online free
association tests; online questionnaires (surveys) and students’ working
(learning) group projects evaluations are used as a ARP research base to trace
and depict gender peculiarities in collaboration online.
main research hypothesis is formulated as: since all intrinsic characteristics
of web 2.0 and originated from it - e-Learning 2.0 (like collaboration,
interactivity, openness and connectivity) simultaneously present the
most important features for gender-friendly learning surrounding intrinsically.
Hence namely the e-Learning 2.0 format of education must be more
gender-friendly model of learning. Its implementation will promote gender
equity in education on and offline and enhance learning effectiveness for both
genders especially through local (Ukrainian) context. Thus, key ARP
developmental goals are to promote gender equity in teaching and
learning and facilitate the integration of local tertiary into the Bologna educational
space with more rigid gender-sensitive educational policy requirements.
key ARP questions cover the next points:
How intensively and in what way does
gender connect with and impact e-Learning 2.0 and vice versa?
How does gender impact collaborative
learning activity online?
Does e-Learning 2.0 promote gender
equity in tertiary or not?
base for this research is formed through Class 2.0 collaborating online learning
practices realized within group projects’ activities (see Table N1 “List of
Project Titles with Presenters’ Gender Indication” in Appendix N1). The task
facing the students is to prepare online projects concerning the basic
communicative skills such as: effective presentation, negotiating, meeting, time-management
or interviewing skills, etc, within managerial business context using web 2.0
technologies (wiki, google.doc (online
e-portfolio, social networks) as platforms for project realization. These
activities are run through teaching class in Business Communication for
students majoring in Finances and International Management. The attitudes towards
ICT entities including web 2.0 tools, online collaboration and e-Learning 2.0 are
traced, depicted and analyzed through gender perspectives. Also students’ opinions,
questionnaires, surveys of online class activities and course evaluations are
processed and used in ARP. All class activities are coordinated through the
Moodle Learning Space located at http://web2.kpi.kharkov.ua.
data are obtained twice - before (input data) and after finishing the
course (output data). For the ARP ethical reasons all procedures are
conducted on voluntary base. Only the anonymous course evaluation filling is obligatory
for all students registered to the class (133 persons (50 males and 83 females)).
There are five input and two output surveys, and one course evaluation
conducted in the course. The five input surveys (before the course) cover
issues concerning the Internet access and use, Net, motivations to use the Net,
knowledge and personal attitudes towards ICT, collaborative activity and gender
aspects of computer-mediated communication (CMC).
for research ethics in the depicted study all levels of cyberspace (e-learning
2.0 environments and learning discourse through it) are considered as a
“private” domain. As a result written participants’ consents are obtained
before conducting research. As for personal data privacy protection
Class 2.0 platform doesn’t keep any information identifying computer addresses (cookies)
or browser profiles. There are also no "cookies" used to store users’
information. The questions concerning the anonymity of informants (if
they want), consent to locate all project materials as an open-source in public
domain on the Internet have been obtained from learners before learning. One
can specify that any permission from local university authorities for ARP
conduction isn’t required in Ukraine.
ARP Data Discussion
the end of Class 2.0 all data are arranged, processed and analyzed according to
three criteria: period of learning (input/output), gender (male/female), attitude
towards format of learning (collaboration), and knowledge
of web 2.0 services for ARP objectives.
the voluntary base 70 females and 35 males decided to participate in all
surveys and projects’ preparation. 18 females and 15 males only passed credit
and went through the final course evaluation. The total number of students
registered to this class covered 133 persons (83 women and 50 men).
input questionnaire about the collaboration shows that “web 2.0” is known before the course only for three males and seven females. As for web 2.0 services blogs,
wikis, instant messengers, and social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn,
Odnoklassniki, vKontakte) are used by students rather intensively even before the
course running. Social bookmarking (Del.ic.ious, BobrDobr) and photo services
(Flickr, Picassa), and Learning managerial systems (e.g. Moodle) have been practically
unknown for students. Questionnaires also indicate that males more enthusiastically
than females wanted to expand their knowledge about web 2.0 and social software
finishing the course the students’ attitude towards web 2.0 technologies is
changed drastically. Output questionnaire reveals that females rate 4.7 and
males do 4.3 (The Likert scale from 5 (very positive) to 1 (very negative) is
applied in this ARP). Blogging, social networks, Google Office, Flickr, Moodle,
and YouTube services are rated uppermost. There are no gender differences in
the results obtained. Only males change their evaluation of podcasting - from rather
negative to more positive (to the Likert 5-rating scale). However
due to the number of learners it is impossible to conduct quantitative analysis
and additional research is required. Thus namely the sample volume of
participants selected only on voluntary base presents one of the biggest
limitations for this research.
one of the ARP questionnaires students are asked to depict the notion web 2.0 with
the help of words (verbally). Verbal responses are obtained through free
association test conduction. Students specified the second web as modern,
useful, helpful, and simple.
It is viewed as communication
and speed, and share of knowledge. It is useful, terrific,
fantastic, and even progressive, etc. There are no negative
responses at all registered in students’ definitions to this notion. As for
gender peculiarities female associations are more diverse and specific. Males
render web 2.0 more stereotypically and define it not so metaphorically. One
can suppose that namely female students perceive web 2.0 technologies in learning
more emotionally and enthusiastically.
collaboration activity input research data show there is no deep gender gap in
students’ preliminary attitudes towards collaboration and team-working activity
online. The mean score for females is 3.9 and for males is 4.4 (to the Likert
5-rating scale). After the course these indicators are changed to 4.4 for
females and 4.3 for males. The data reveal that male attitude towards
collaboration and team-working activity is shifted to the direction “little
more negative”. Simultaneously women perceived the process of collaboration online
is practically no gender difference in team-working experience before the
course. Almost half of sample students have possessed this experience before and
more than half have additional experience in developing project with the help
of ICT. As for group composition before the course female students want to work
in the same-sex team more than in the mixed one. As for male students they
prefer to work with women much more than with men. Only for three males and ten
females there is no difference in what kind of team (according to sex
composition) to collaborate.
data reveal that there is practically no difference in male and female attitudes
towards participation and collaboration in online projects.
for the role distributing and delegating authorities in project management
males specify that their roles are to help in preliminary talk about how to run
the project (15 persons); present and participate in project (four persons);
search information for the project (four persons) and consult project members (one
person), ten males mention that they keep the project running. Females evaluate
their participation in project more specifically and diverse. They enlighten
that first of all they must be multitaskers in project collaboration. They tell
that they want to be project leaders (seven persons) (by the way all seven
projects are headed by females), presenters (six persons), 22 persons search the
information required for project, 21 participate in project preparation, seven
- in project concept development, four – in project idea generation, three - in
project recording, one female provides logistics to the project and one does
moral and psychological support. Therefore the results obtain show that female
roles in project management are more active and diverse. They combine and
switch between roles through all stages of project realization more often than
males. Also they play more specific roles within the project management
providing logistics and psychological assistance to the project team. However
the most important ARP finding is that namely females not males coordinate and
head project activity or organize collaboration online. This finding is of
critically importance for our research namely in the local context since patriarchy
culture and traditionalistic views still prevail in Ukrainian educational
system (Goroshko 2008).
data obtained testify also that there are a lot of differences in male and
female specifications of main advantages and disadvantages in collaboration
online. All specifications are summarized into the Table 2 “Advantages and
Disadvantages of Collaboration Online (Students’
Questionnaire Data)” (see Appendix N2).
can emphasise that female students among pluses of collaboration activity mention
the importance of obtaining leadership skills in team-working and view both
advantages and disadvantages in collaboration online more from “group
perspective” standpoints in contrast to male students that perceive collaboration
more from their personal, individualistic positions.
also face the question: “Do you want to participate in the group online projects
in the future and use them for learning?” Results indicate that more males than
females want to collaborate online in the future but they don’t differ strikingly.
One can suppose that these results go against the other data obtained through
the ARP showing more optimistic female views on collaboration activity and
participation in it. However, additional research is required to provide more insight
on collaboration online and its linkage with gender and web 2.0 technologies
and effectiveness of e-learning 2.0 overall.
research possesses a number of limitations. However, this is the size of sample
presenting the main obstacle. To conduct quantitative statistic research it
requires increasing the number of participants with diverse backgrounds. It might
be useful to examine the impact of educational culture and learners’ diverse
cultural backgrounds on collaboration online through the use of more
qualitative and quantitative approaches basing on ethnomethodology and
statistics analysis’ use. The research also reveals the longitudinal
observations are needed to examine more deeply the situation with gendered
Class 2.0 taking in mind a rapid development both ICT and educational paradigms
in post-soviet tertiary.
the students are quite actively involved in the learning, the obstacles in
their everyday life prevent them to participate effectively in collaboration
online. These obstacles are mainly related not to the collaboration in itself but
stipulated by extra curricula circumstances: deep digital gap in Ukraine (access
to ICT, the speed of the Internet, the payment for Internet access, lack of a
great number of needed literature resources, as well as the difficulties
existing in the process of constant ongoing higher educational reforms in
obtained data also enlighten that namely male students require tutor’s
attention and assistance in organizing collaborative activity online more. They
must be more motivated and prepared in this area. Hence the material received
in this ARP shows that the local virtual classroom presents more female than
male domain being a convenient working place namely for girl-students. My data
practically confirm the results obtained by Kirsteen Monteith
in English-speaking virtual online class (Montheith 2002). The researcher
hypothesizes that gender sometimes must be universal and omnipresent factor in
online education generally. E-tutors and educators need to develop more deliberate
and gender-sensitive approach to accepting claims of gender-friendly Class 2.0.
stronger training component must be introduced into team-working and leadership
skills development integrated simultaneously into BA and MA local university
curricula especially within managerial context. In addition certain activities
related to multitasker’s skills obtaining must be provided through local
university curricula in management and MBA programmers.
ARP data contradict substantially to the well-spread opinions and stereotyped
views about that only female students call for assistance in e-Learning (Blum
1999; Bender 2003). That is the man not the woman who needs currently more in
tutor’s attention and care in Ukrainian tertiary.
can stress that the English language of course instruction presents one more
serious problem for students’ learning revealed through the students’ course
evaluation. Therefore the scare testing practices, poor knowledge of foreign
languages, absence of special training programs both in ICT and gender equity
issues, plus low level of team-working skills development among students prevailing
in local tertiary impact also very negatively collaboration and project
this research reveals not only the existing of severe GDD in Ukraine but
indicates that the local tertiary presents one of the weakest points in GDD
deepening. Thus the e-Learning 2.0 implementation into the local tertiary might
be an effective step to narrow the existing gap in Ukraine.
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Table N1: List
of Project Titles with Indication of Presenters’ Gender
with Web 2.0 Platform Service
Skills (Ning Social Networking)
(Google Online Presentation)
Skills (Google Online Presentation)
Skills (Vcasmo Software Used to Prepare The Movie “How to present
professionally for Businesses)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Collaboration Online
cooperation, discussions, negotiations while working online; generation of
more ideas, more proper delegation of activities, faster problem-solving,
possibility to view subject from different standpoints; easier to make
consensus, more certainty in every team-member, much more possibilities to
listen, support, more solidarity, easier to find the proper information,
acquire skills very quickly how to work in team, more coordination, accuracy,
increase accuracy, coordination, responsibility, intensify the exchange of
It is more
difficult to meet the project deadline, low understanding among team-members,
lack of real leader, discrepancies in delegation of authority, poor logistics
(no places for meetings and working in group), not everybody participates in
project activities, it is difficult to distribute information properly among
team-members; more responsibility for other team-members, differences in
individual opinions, difficulties in project coordination and realization.
It is easier
to gain goals by mutual efforts, share opinions, more solidarity, listen out
for something, mutual decision-making, easier task-delegation, help each
other easier and simpler, every opinion is easily expressed and heard by all
team members; develop leadership and team-making skills greatly, reduce
overload and tension to work in team; feedback, creativity, efficiency,
solidarity, the ability to know the opinions of others, two heads are better
than one, ability to concede, easier to reach compromise, interesting jolly,
it is real fun, collective discussion helps to eliminate errors, develop
skills to communicate, more ideas generated in team, acquire more knowledge
and information, it is possible to show you as a leader, leadership skills
development; it is chance to listen to the others, brain-storming, promote
cooperation and communication greatly, brilliant networking
misunderstanding, low coordination in project development, difficulties in
task-delegation, poor time-management; it is difficult to motivate the other
team-members, lose of individuality, duplication of information, more active
team-members oppress weaker members, passive behaviour of other team members,
lack of compromises, consensus, it is difficult to make a mutual decision, it
is difficult to select the idea from a great varieties of other persons’
ideas, one person does everything the other one does nothing, low
responsibility by other team-members, personal relationships, discrepancies
in opinions, low motivation, possible conflicts provoked by differences in
opinions and approaches, etc.