E-Learning In Higher Education: The Gender Perspective

  • Ann Wallace

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)


There are three inextricably intertwined facets to this study: higher education, eLearning and gender. Literature abounds on these three areas as separate subjects and jointly in combinations of higher education and gender, as well as higher education and eLearning. But the three are not combined; there is a dearth of literature on the attainment of higher education through eLearning from the perspective of gender. This paper provides an understanding of why do adult working men and women select, or do not select eLearning for the pursuit of higher education, with a focus on the English-speaking Caribbean reality. It explores the pursuit of higher education from the gender perspective and exposes the extent to which the gender identity that moulds society has governed the pursuit of technology-enabled higher education, namely higher education through eLearning. Triangulated data from focus groups, one-on-one interviews and a computer administered survey corroborated by statistics from a reputable regional institution of higher learning, presented an unambiguous perspective on the use of eLearning for higher education purposes that is domiciled in gender identity. The paper highlights the critical value of eLearning to females based on how it compliments their numerous societal roles. It exposes how, drawing on the gender identity of males, the choice to avoid eLearning is formulated. A critical revelation of this study is that the design of eLearning for higher education requires attention by programme designers and developers to the relevance, not only of the eLearning platforms and features, but to the content of the higher education programmes being disseminated through ICT. It has emerged that particularly the younger male learners (35 years and under) have high technological literacy and need programmes that will challenge their abilities. This study adds to the literature on higher education by bringing attention to the choice of eLearning by gender. It contributes to the contemporizing of on-line platforms for eLearning purposes as well as the higher education programme content to meet market demands. It draws attention to the attainment of higher education by working adults and helps to provide a stage for the creation of balance proportionate to the population between the genders in the approach to, and attainment of, higher education through eLearning.
Date of Award18 Nov 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorN Panteli (Supervisor)


  • ELearning, higher education, online, face-to-face, gender, quality, relevance

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