How Online Education Is Increasing Gender Diversity in STEM

  • Mittlearn
  • November 16, 2022

According to a report from National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES), half of undergraduate science and engineering degrees were earned by women in 2016. NCES has also found that female students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) streams usually pursue psychology or biosciences. A less number of students are interested in the areas of engineering and computer science. What could be the reason behind this imbalance?

Although the gender diversity issues in STEM have been familiar for years, there can be various reasons like fewer female instructors, less opportunity to induct women into technical fields, and much more. However, in a male-dominated network of disciplines, the online education system has brought solutions to close the gender gap in STEM fields. Read on about how online education has helped for long upward trajectory toward gender parity in STEM studies.

Recruit female instructors – Online platform gives enormous opportunities to level up the reach of individual instructors. Even under-represented teachers or instructors can get broader access to perform their diverse role models. As per research, institutes having female instructors attract comparatively more female enrollees. Further, there is a rise of 26% more enrollments can be seen when female learners receive an email on admission to a STEM course from a female instructor than a male instructor.

Comprehensive course material – Online education is not just about finding the right instructor. Creating a proper curriculum that can appeal to the learners as well as provide ample knowledge on the particularsubject. The course materials written by women are found more attractive and catch more attention than the men. Comprehensive course materials designed by the instructors have helped to increase learner diversity. Reports say more than 30% of female learners are enrolled compared to 20% in IT content in recent years.

Usage of machine-learned interventions – Adoption of an online program and integration of machine learning opens a unique opportunity for every learner to reach their ultimate goals. Powered by machine learning and data integration, the online course teaches learners with proper guidance, support, and encouragement in the nick of time.

Launching new features for better-diversified learning strategies – In recent online videos, the learners can save checkpoints in their videos and add notes to encourage active learning and facilitate review. From reports it is assumed that female students are more likely to take notes and save checkpoints than male learners.

Enable university experimentation and iteration – AB testing is taken on instructors, partners, and researchers to answer what types of teaching works best for which learners. Learners are segregated into different versions of the same course to review different chosen teaching videos and their output. Many learners leverage this technology and advance equality of opportunity.

These steps help female learners get better opportunities to connect with smart people and gain advanced knowledge of their specific interests. Varying economic and social modes encourage women learners to come forward and progress in their academic careers and foster a more gender-inclusive environment.