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Identification of factors that lead to perceived learning improvements for female students

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3 Author(s)
Mbarika, V.W. ; Dept. of Inf. Syst. & Decision Sci., Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport, LA, USA ; Sankar, C.S. ; Raju, P.K.

Past research has shown that females have more negative attitudes toward engineering and technology than do males. These negative attitudes may explain the decreasing number of females choosing technical careers. Past studies have shown that a change in learning environments and the methods by which learning takes place might foster a change in this situation. A multimedia case study incorporating a real-world engineering and technical problem faced by a power plant was developed in order to provide a new learning environment for engineering and business students. This research investigates whether the use of this material by female and male students led to differences in perceived higher level cognitive skills and, if so, seeks to identify the factors that cause the difference. The results suggest that when designing new learning environments, it is important for the female students to be challenged and have opportunities both to learn by themselves and to learn from others. These results have implications for teaching programs, such as the provision of opportunities for group learning, especially for female students.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 1 )