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Gender neutrality improved completion rate for all

picture of the first author
Maria Svedin
picture of second author
Olle Bälter








This study investigated if we could improve retention by redesigning an online programming course from a gender perspective, while maintaining the focus on preferable and sustainable learning approaches. Three principles for course material design were identified; gender neutral and nonbiased messagesemphasize the interdisciplinary approach and link to everyday examples. The probability to complete the course increased from 77% to 84% for all students. No changes were made to the assessments.

Our interpretation is that the refurbished course material made more students feel included which increased their motivation to finish.

In Swedish

Den här studien har redan beskrivits på flera ställen på svenska både som text och i pod-format.

Olle Bälter is an Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction and head of the research group for Technology Enhanced Learning at KTH-Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been running online courses since 2006 and his research interests are technology enhanced learning and interface design. Since his research visit to Stanford University 2015-2016 he has been working in cooperation with Open Learning Initiative to enable more efficient learning.