Technology Mediated Teaching/Learning as a Pathway to Inclusive Higher Education for Sustainable Development: What are the Pending Gender Issues

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Morolong, Bantu L K
Nage-Sibande, Bogadi
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Open University Malaysia (OUM)

Open, flexible and online education is being adopted by institutions to enhance their efforts to achieve increased levels of access to inclusive learning opportunities. However, while the significant growth in online learning opportunities is acclaimed for breaking the barriers for disadvantaged groups, this paper aims to assess the residual gender issues in this breakthrough. The paper recognizes the fact that in the context of the developing world, technology mediated teaching and learning is gaining currency especially in higher education. Using that context as its unit of analysis, the paper argues that still, there are gender inequality issues that stand in the way of potential achievements by technology mediated learning to close the gendered gap in access to higher education. That technology mediated teaching and learning has unique benefits for teachers and students is an established notion. What remains scanty is disaggregation of the benefits by gender, which is still a strong paradigm of exclusion in general, and in education in particular. While there is evidence to suggest that students benefit differently from technology-mediated learning, dependent on their gender, the paper aims to establish the extent to which this is the case in higher education. Focusing on the teacher, the central question that this paper seeks to answer is, what is the contribution of teachers to the gender gap in the benefits derived by students from technology mediated teaching and learning? The answers that this paper aims to generate, are expected to inform strategies that could be used to remedy the situation so that open, flexible and online teaching and learning can alleviate the daunting challenges of the persistent gender inequality in access to inclusive higher education.// Paper ID 331

Gender,Inclusive Education,Information and Communication Technology (ICT),Higher Education