When it comes to making sure more girls have opportunities to gain positions of influence in STEM fields in their careers and through their professional development, tools that promote ongoing interaction, build knowledge early on, provide networks in the long term, and ideally bring a layer of storytelling and personal narratives, might be the perfect companion to advocacy. This, at least according to “Closing the STEM Gap,” a report released by Microsoft earlier this month.
The gender disparity in technical fields is still systemic, but initiatives that help girls and women interact with and find role models and stimulate mentoring relationsips seem to have the most sustained impact. Among the list of findings and recommendations in Microsoft’s report, the role of Moodle, or a similarly featured system to support collaborative learning, is evident. Here’s how you can take advantage of Moodle to follow Microsoft’s advice.
Girls need “exposure to STEM jobs, female role models and career awareness and planning,” according to the report. The Moodle Forum can promote ongoing discussions with experienced women. Make special events out of them, for example an “Ask a Women Engineer Day.”
“Even a little exposure to real-world applications of STEM knowledge dramatically changes their outlook.” Bring them into it using the array of powerful and didactic Simulation-type plugins available in Moodle. You can find physics and chemistry labs, coding validators, or access to powerful labs without leaving the classroom.
“Girls who participate in STEM clubs and activities outside of school are more likely to say they will pursue STEM subjects later in their education.” Take advice of the several examples of Moodle in “Flipped Learning” projects to encourage peer-based interactions in Moodle. The Workshop is a powerful tool to highlight a sense of stage-based progress and the value of teamwork.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.