How Online Education Is Increasing Gender Diversity in STEM. Education and its medium of operation or delivery has seen a massive face lift over the years with the modern forms of education promising better student participation and skills acquisition.
What Is STEM?
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), previously science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET), is a broad term used to group together these academic disciplines. This term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. Source goes to: Wikipedia
Prior to today’s world, education (formal education) was mainly managed and executed in a brick and mortar classroom setting where students met and have a one-to-many interaction with their teachers.
For those who were mostly unfortunate, their education happened under shades and trees where the same delivery methods were used with physical (paperback) books being used in such situations.
Today, education and its delivery has diversified with many forms of education delivery being available presently. Distance education, traditional regular education, sandwich education and of course the now popular online education forms have all sort to diversify education and its delivery.
The focus for this article is to identify and explain how online education has increased gender diversity in Science and Technology Education.
Frankly, the perception about STEM education in most parts of the world has been widely unfavorable for most genders.
Considering that most people think STEM is e very difficult area of study and specialization, men are more encouraged to go into this area of studies primarily.
This is especially enforced in the traditional education setting where there is a physical interaction between students and teachers with face-to-face meetings being the topmost form of lesson delivery.
Since such programs contain many men, people of the other genders who wish to be part of such programs are usually turned away by the number of men they’d have to meet every time they go for lectures. This could be sometimes discouraging for such people and also cut short their interest in pursuing such areas of study.
Online education however provides a gap bridging platform for people of all gender and race to venture into any course or field of study as they deem fit. This includes STEM.
With online Education linking global educational institutions to students all over the world, students can enroll in institutions without the need to have one-on-one physical meetings with their colleague learners and teachers or instructors.
This makes it easy for those who would otherwise have felt bad in a classroom of more male students.
Also, with the online studies, there are video tutorials which can be replayed and studied at the pace of the students. This makes it easier for the slower students, irrespective of their gender to assimilate and grasp the concepts taught in each lesson.
Finally, there are rooms for peer reviews and also rooms for direct questioning sections with instructors when students face specific problems in their studies. This makes lessons very interactive and very comprehensive for all forms of gender, thereby encouraging more student’s participation in STEM which is otherwise regarded as being difficult.
Today, education has seen a major growth and transformation with the traditional brick and mortar fixed-term formal educational form being just one of the many models of formal educational available presently.
With the rampant popularity of Online Education in the world, education has become more efficient, affordable, inclusive and interactive.
This has therefore aided the growth of student participation in c which is mostly regarded as a difficult field of study.
With online education, all forms of gender have found their voice and way in the STEM education sector which translates into a fair playground for all genders in the implementation of Science and Technology in the improvement of human life.