More female students with top grades - elimination of gender differences in introductory programming
Male students are almost twice as likely as female students to receive the highest grade in the “Programming in Matlab” course in the Mechanical Engineering program at Chalmers. It is hypothesized that an initial gender difference in programming proficiency is conserved by the current course design, where expertise in “algorithmic thinking” and self-confidence in tackling comprehensive programming tasks are needed to be awarded a top grade. The proposed solution is to design a new course material aimed at 1) removing the threshold to advance from basic programming to advanced programming skills, and 2) providing a wider range of inspirational role models in terms of problem framing, including a wealth of examples from famous female programmers and programming environments that are not “purely technological”. The project outcome will be reported at KUL2021 and in a manuscript submitted to an international peer-reviewed journal within educational science.
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- GENIE, Chalmers Gender Initiative for Excellence (Academic, Sweden)