Letting our students speak : enriching the discourse about feminist pedagogy in the virtual classroom Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1z40kz178

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  • The increasingly corporatized and privatized public university has resulted in significant role changes for students and faculty. Among these changes includes the development of online education and its proliferation among various disciplines to not only increase educational access, but to sustain budgetary program needs. Such processes are occurring in women's studies (WS) programs across the country, which can be problematic in terms of fostering a feminist classroom in virtual space. The purpose of this study is to examine key characteristics of feminist pedagogy and its implementation and effects it has on students in the online WS classroom, considering that WS courses seek to transform and empower students to create social change. This study utilizes qualitative feminist interviewing methods to derive common themes about feminist pedagogy from narratives by students who have taken online WS courses, traditional face-to-face courses, and a hybrid of both. Findings suggest that students who take online WS courses experience a more independent learning environment and tend to lack community building in their virtual classroom compared to students who take face-to-face courses. Findings also reveal that a majority of participants would choose traditional WS classes rather than online course options. Future research is recommended in the areas of more nuanced theorizing about a cyberfeminist pedagogy and using online web technologies to build community in virtual WS classrooms.
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