Australian Women’s Online Experiences: Why e-Learning doesn’t Necessarily Guarantee an Inclusive or Egalitarian Communication Space

By Angela Lewis.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

My PhD research into women learning IT skills in the workplace consisted of a number of different research projects and this paper specifically reports on outcomes from one of those studies, a custom designed online forum. While the objective of my research was to holistically study the experiences of women learning IT in the workplace, I also believe that women’s learning is heavily influenced by their use and experience of IT in a wider context. Therefore, one of the research sites became an online forum I created specifically for women to write about their Internet and computer experiences in both their private and work lives. The results of this research project are presented in this paper with a particular emphasis on their e-learning experiences. The outcomes of this research project indicate that some women encounter gender and power related issues when learning in a virtual environment. This paper also goes on to examine how some of the participants experienced the ‘presence’ of both the e-lecturer and co-learners, with the outcomes indicating that their experiences of online communication and interaction can be highly gendered.

Keywords: Information Technology (IT), Women, Gender, Online, e-Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp.81-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 535.563KB).

Dr. Angela Lewis


Angela Lewis has taught in adult education for most of her working life and her IT training business has provided various learning programs to both the government and corporate sector for the past 18 years. She is also involved in the delivery of undergraduate and Masters units in the Faculty of Education at Monash University.


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