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Interactions in computer science classrooms’ explore the involvement of the male and female student in computer science. This article was written by Dorian Stoilescu and Gubawardena Egodawatte and was published in 2010’s Computer Science Education journal volume twenty, issue 4 from page 283 to 300. The journal focused on a study that Stoilescu and Egpdawatte carried out to investigate the perception of males and female students towards computer science. In this journal, the study revealed that male students “heavily involved” in computer science more than female students (Stoilescu and Egodawatte 283). Most importantly, the study concluded that successful computer science professional were those who would be described as hard working, armed with detailed approaches and enjoyed playing with various computer games (Stoilescu and Egodawatte 283).

The article details of a study focused in investigating the perception of male and female students towards computer science. In that article, it is evident that the study drew from the previous work of Blum, Frieze, Hazzan and Dian who argued that “cultural and environmental” conditions influence computer education (Stoilescu and Egodawatte 284). The literature review section of the journal details how the above argument reinforced the present study and especially its impact on education in computer science. Because of the potential impact of cultural and environment conditions, Stoilescu and Egodawatte and developed two research questions aimed at exploring the student preferences in computer science and its related programs. To explore this interest, Stoilescu and Egodawatte came up with two research questions shown below.

a)“What are males’ and females’ preferences in computer science programs in computer use, computer programming, and social interaction s in classrooms?” and

b)“How do the students perceive the typical proļ¬le of successful Computer science students?” (Stoilescu and Egodawatte 284).

The above literature review along with these research questions provided the critical background necessary in conducting this study. The journal also describes the theoretical framework that guided the study. In this journal, Stoilescu and Egodawatte used various perspectives that made up their theoretical frame work, which helped them to understand the research problem and interpret the result. First, the authors noted that male and females learn differently with boys preferring games while girls liked using emails and avoiding special effects (Stoilescu and Egodawatte 284). Second, the author also considered many variations in course content with some curriculum providing case studies while some focusing on using analogies. Most important, the study also considered the association of subjects such as mathematics and computer science, which made many students, perceives computer science as a difficult course.

Stoilescu and Egodawatte carried out the study in a medium-size University in Ontario, which had 16,000 students. The study focused on the computer science department that was made of 1000 student and a support staff of 40 instructors. In the study, the numbers of participants were 16 students taking their undergraduate studies with 10 being males and 6 being females (Stoilescu and Egodawatte 288). The study was designed to align with qualitative studies focused on exploring the different view between male and female students.

The journal details that data were collected through techniques such as observation, questionnaires and documents. Students who took part in the study were those who had persisted throughout the study. Research questionnaires were used to gather information from two faculty instructors who took part in the study. The two instructors were extremely conversant with the courses highlighted in the study because they had taught it for a long time. Stoilescu and Egodawatte selected several courses, which were mandatory in the minor and major programs taught, in computer science. However, a third course selected in the study was optional, and some students had opted to take it as part of the course work in the Univeristy. Data collection from students was done through a series of observations that were carried out in the classroom and computer laboratories where the study tool place (Stoilescu and Egodawatte, 287).

The journal details intriguing results on various aspects of research on hows students perceive computer science. First, the research proved that both male and female students regarded computers to have more importance in their lives. In addition, observations in the computer laboratories revealed that male and female students had advanced skills on the computer. However, male students were more involved in programming more than female students. Stoilescu and Egodawatte also found out that male and female students had mixed views towards the influence of gender in programming. For example, George, of the male students who took part in the study, described that he loved programing because it enabled him to be creative. In contrast, Mike, another male participant disliked programming preferring hardware. The female students who took part in the study also indicated that programming is important in computer science. Some of the female students suggested that they enjoyed coding, but did not view computer science as chiefly made of programming. One of the female student said that she loved the theoretical aspect of computer science more than the practical aspects. Most important, male and female students valued the role of programming in computer science as an essential pre-requisite in the computer job market. Nonetheless, male and female students behaved differently towards computer science.


Stoilescu and Egodawatte articles stand out as an exemplary article because of the way that the study had a focused research question. The use of an appropriate research questions is a recipe for successful study. In this study, the research question helped in isolating the variables of study, as well as areas of focus. With the use of specific and focused research questions, the study was set to achieve its goals even from the start.

The literature review and theoretical framework of this study was well written. First, Stoilescu and Egodawatte reviewed literature on their topic, which improved their understanding of the topic also helped them understand the relationship between computer science and various aspects of gender. In addition, the theoretical framework helped them locate their study within the appropriate context with regard to various aspects of learning related to computer science.

However, the article fails to provide information on how participant were chosen to take part in the study. Moreover, the sample size selected for the study seems to be smaller than expected. These failures provide threats to the internal validity of the study and the impact of the research findings in the scholarly community. The use of smaller sample size also places a limit on the accuracy of the result. For a more reliable result, a large sample size would have been used. This would have necessitated the use of more questionnaires in the data collection process, as well as the involvement of more students and instructors in the paper. With the use of a smaller number of female students compared to male students, this study is likely to be skewed toward males rather than portraying a balanced result of how male and female students perceive computer science. Stoilescu and Egodawatte would have involved at least similar number of female and male participant. This strategy would have improved the outcome of the study.

I find the subject of this study a critical aspect of learning especially in computer science. Given the role this study in highlighting many inconsistencies about how males and females perceive computer science, I believe that other studies will use to develop solutions to some of the challenges facing female and male student taking computer science. Most significantly, I believe that this research was done well in the formulation of research questions, but no hypotheses were defined. In addition, there study did not provide any data analysis strategy that would have helped readers understand the study well. Despite these shortcomings, this study presents some of the critical findings of how male and females students perceive computer science. On a positive note, the study reveals that both male and female students regard computer science to have significant value in their career.

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