STEM and the gender gap

There is a very interesting article in the Chronicle today about the behaviors of men and women in online STEM courses. Since many of these courses could fall under a General Education purview, I thought it was quite relevant to this blog.

What this says to me is that we must work as faculty to instil confidence in all of our students in all online courses and work very hard to fight against stereotypes. The study notes that, while men answered more of the questions in an online discussion, women asked more. That means that the women in these courses are doing incredibly important critical thinking, and if we as faculty see them staying quiet, we should encourage them to speak up. STEM courses are not for men; they are there for the benefit of all.

Does anyone have any thoughts on encouraging student interaction in STEM courses? How do we make sure we are getting the message out that STEM is inclusive and fun for all who are interested?

Here is the original article from the Chronicle of Higher Education:

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/in-stem-courses-a-gender-gap-in-online-class-discussions/55399

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