Computer-Mediated Communication that Brings Learning into the Present: Gender Differences in Status Differentials and Self-Disclosure in Online Peer Teaching

Computer-Mediated Communication that Brings Learning into the Present: Gender Differences in Status Differentials and Self-Disclosure in Online Peer Teaching

Linda Seward (Middle Tennessee State University, USA), Vickie Harvey (California State University, USA) and Joseph Carranza (California State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2009040102
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Abstract

A two-part assignment was designed which paired students together using e-mail technology that required them to engage in peer teaching. This allowed us to study computer-mediated communication that was not part of a discussion group or chat room. An analysis of the e-mails revealed that males and females did not differ in frequency, length or use of social incentives. Males sent slightly more status enhancement messages while females sent more status recognition messages. Significant gender differences occurred, however, in the use of apologies and in how personal weaknesses or bad experiences were characterized. Unexpectedly, university affiliation was more significant than gender in the amount of self-disclosure.

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