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Encouraging female students in business computing

By Annemieke Craig

Abstract

This thesis investigates women in computing; their success or otherwise. To establish the context\ud for the study the inter-relationships between computing and young women are examined by an\ud extended review of the relevant literature. The research for the thesis involves an illustrative case\ud study of young women in an undergraduate Business Computing course. It explores the\ud experiences of the students and the issues which impact on their success. Using a case study\ud approach, qualitative and quantitative data is gathered on attrition rates and reasons for the\ud attrition of female students in the course. In the second stage of the research, using an action\ud research methodology, an intervention strategy is established to improve the experiences of the\ud female students and, consequently to have an impact on retention rates. A peer mentor scheme is\ud the mechanism chosen to provide additional assistance, overcome the isolation felt, by many\ud young w o m e n and to increase student self esteem. The role of the scheme is later broadened to\ud raise student awareness of possible career outcomes of the course. Evaluation of the scheme\ud indicates that it has been valuable for those w h o participated. Reasons for the scheme's success,\ud such as being based on the experiences of this particular group of young w o m e n and refined over\ud time to continue to meet their particular needs are discussed. Some of the difficulties in\ud implementing the program in a way that includes all female students are analysed

Topics: 1303 Specialist Studies in Education, 1503 Business and Management, Faculty of Business and Law, female student success, electronic data processing personnel, computer science, mentoring, education
Year: 1996
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.vu.edu.au:17893

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