International Association
of School Librarianship


IASL Research Abstracts

IASL Research Abstracts: 140

Findings: The more subtle features of power and control in online spaces are just as important as overt features in encouraging and discouraging people to engage in participation in these forums.

Abstract: This study examines the deployment of power and status in an online professional development website for pre-service and in-service math and science teachers. Initiation and continuation of threads in asynchronous discussion forums is viewed as a powerful activity and one parallel to the control of discussion in face-to-face classrooms as an issue of control. Studies of two discussion forums on the same topic, one comprised of mainly in-service and the other comprised of mainly pre-service teachers, showed a significant difference in the number of threads initiated by men and by women with men dominating. In addition the threads initiated by men were much more likely to receive responses that continued the discussion while the threads initiated by women were very likely to end with that one post. Other features of educational forums such as flaming did not occur here at all. The more subtle features of power and control in online spaces are just as important as overt features in encouraging and discouraging people to engage in participation in these forums. See:

Scheckler, R.K. (2004) Gender and control of dialogue in asynchronous forums: Implications for school library media specialists. School Libraries Worldwide, 10 (1-2),

Subject Categories: 9, 19, 22


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