Gendersensitive eLearning didactics in Information and Communication Technology Courses and Career Counselling:

Diana Bischof, Veronika Hornung-Prähauser (2006): Gendersensitive eLearning didactics in Information and Communication Technology Courses and Career Counselling: Case Study of an Online Gender-Sensitivity Training for Teachers and Career Counsellors In: Sabine Zauchner, Karin Siebenhandl, Michael Wagner (Hg). Gender in E-Learning and Educational Games. StudienVerlag, Wien

Women are still under-represented in the world of Information and Communication Technology
(ICT) and the rate of participation of young female students in informatics and computing
education remains persistently low (Schwarze, 2005)1. Studies report high drop out rates
among those who have entered an ICT education and once graduated, moving to a nontechnical
working field before having reached a management position is nothing out of the
ordinary (Hanappi-Egger, 2004). Gender research has examined this phenomenon very
carefully during the last few years and has come up with a set of explanatory factors. Most
prominent among them are: girls` limited access to computers, female perception of ICT as
functional rather than as a creative instrument, lack of existing role models for building a
positive mind-set and stereotypes about a sterile, women-hostile working culture in the ICT
companies (Millar/Jagger, 2001). These findings make evident that both teaching and career
counselling in ICT education, ranging from multi-media design to informatics, is a complex
process influenced by multi-faceted dimensions, such as personal attitudes, lack of
information and external environmental factors. Thus, we consider that teaching or counselling
in ICT education, may it be in presence or online mode, requires also a multi-dimensional
gendered teaching and counselling strategy. Therefore in this paper we deal with the
requirements of gender-sensitive didactics in the context of ICT education. We propose a
three-dimensional didactical model (the “3-M-approach”), which was developed for the
European project PRO::ICT – Promoting female students in Information and Communication
Technologies. It may serve as guideline for didactical scripts, web design and production of
gender-sensitive educational content to be used in ICT job orientation courses and consulting
processes.

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