The Human Factor: How Gender Differences Matter in Software Training by Mary Arnold : Learning Solutions Magazine
If your software training includes time to explore or “tinker,” men and women will have different rates of success. A strategic approach may be better than going through individual features. This research focused on adding new features with an audience who was already familiar with the software; I’m not sure the same training technique would work with beginners with an application.
Tinkering with the spreadsheets seems to be a reasonable approach to working with a new problem, in line with generating and testing alternative strategies to find a solution. In other words, learning. Women who tinkered with the spreadsheets seemed to be doing just that, and, for them, tinkering predicted more effective problem solving. Counter-intuitively, though, when men tinkered with the spreadsheet, they were less effective in correcting the errors. The opposite results seem attributable to the fact that women paused before trying something else, long enough to process the information.
In the final experiment, researchers provided a different kind of tutorial — one that emphasized a strategic, rather than a feature-by-feature approach to the problem.
Women who participated in this condition were almost as likely to use the new features as the men in the same study, and were able to solve more problems more quickly than women who didn’t use the new features. Men in this condition were not significantly helped or hindered, which means that it’s possible to prevent a bias against women without introducing a bias against men.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.