Exploring gender and gender pairing in the knowledge elaboration processes of students using computer-supported collaborative learning

Ning Ding, Roel J. Bosker, Egbert Harskamp

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The aim of the study is to investigate the influence of gender and gender pairing on students’ learning performances and knowledge elaboration processes in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). A sample of ninety-six secondary school students, participated in a two-week experiment.
Students were randomly paired and asked to solve several moderately structured problems concerning Newtonian mechanics. Students’ pretest and posttest performances were analyzed to see whether students’ gender and the gender pairing (mixed or single-gender) were significant factors in their problem solving learning in CSCL. Students’ online interactions were also analyzed to unravel the dynamic process of individual knowledge elaboration. The multilevel analyses revealed that a divergent pattern of knowledge elaboration was a significant predictor for students’ learning achievement, and in mixed-gender dyads students’ knowledge elaboration processes were more inclined to diverge from each other. Moreover, females in single-gender dyads significantly outperformed females in mixed-gender dyads. But this was not the case for male students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
JournalComputers & education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011



  • education
  • gender

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