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Two Women Talking

Ladies First in Online Learning Environments

by Devon Haynie

US News

Article excerpt

Why Women Dominate in Online Programs

In the world of online learning, female students like Tutlewski predominate. At the undergraduate level, 70 percent of online students were women in spring 2015, according to a recent survey. Among graduate students, 72 percent of students were female.

Our take

In Online Learning Environments Women Rule!

Most of us value flexibility in our schedules to help us balance the demands of work and our personal endeavors. It seems, though, if the rosters of online learning participants are any indication, that flexibility may be most valued by women. According to a survey from Aslanian Market Research and the Learning House, 70 percent of online students are female; among graduate students that percentage rises slightly to 72. And, according to U.S. News data, in some schools almost all enrollees are women! What might this mean for your recruitment and engagement efforts?

The preponderance of female online students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels may help to provide some insights into how to better engage future students—both male and female. There are a number of assumptions made in this article about the why behind these disparities in enrollment numbers. If you’re attempting to enroll students in online courses, though, it may be wise to do some research: first, to determine what your own student make-up is and then to engage both male and female students, and non-students, in discussions about both the potential appeals, and potential detractors, of online learning options.