Who's Talking Online? A Descriptive Analysis of Gender & Online Communication

Who's Talking Online? A Descriptive Analysis of Gender & Online Communication

Taralynn Hartsell (The University of Southern Mississippi, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2005010105
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This preliminary descriptive study investigated the association between gender and online communication and involved participants from an online graduate course. The study implemented a descriptive model in that “student involvement” was assessed by tabulating and recording the quantity and quality of student activity in the discussion threads. Quantity was recorded by the amount of times students posted online comments and the number of words that women and men used to make their responses. In addition, quality was examined by reviewing the content that women and men made concerning topics under discussion. In the end, a difference between the genders was found in that the amount (quantity) women contributed to the discussions exceeded that contributed by the men. Women were also more inclined to give supportive or encouraging remarks than men, and addressed their classmates by name to promote a sense of online community, all which support previous studies.

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