Skepticism Around MOOCs, Male Mentors, Retaining Female Tech Talent, and Award Recipients and K-12 Members

Many Professors Are Skeptical of MOOCs

Did you know that Inside Higher Ed recently released the Faculty Attitudes on Technology report? The report is based on Gallup’s survey of 2,251 professors. Generally, results indicate high levels of skepticism about the merit of MOOCs. Only one in five faculty members agree with the statement: “Online courses can achieve learning outcomes equivalent to those of in-person courses.”

However, the report suggests faculty members who have taught at least one online course are more likely to see the value of using MOOCs. For example, “50% of them agree or strongly agree that online courses in their own department or discipline produce equivalent learning outcomes to in-person courses, compared to just 13% of professors who have not taught online.”

Read other key findings from this report here.

Take a look at the 2013 NCWIT Summit panel on MOOCs here, including Ben Eater, Lead Exercise Developer at Khan Academy.

Women, Don’t Overlook Male Mentors

Do you know what Tina Fey and Sheryl Sandberg have in common? Male mentors. In this article, six great women attribute a large part of their success to their male mentors.

While many women tend to believe a female mentor would be able to provide them with the most relevant and relatable guidance, oftentimes, male mentors with equal, or even greater qualifications are overlooked. The article points out that “male mentors are especially crucial in areas where women commonly hit the glass ceiling and have yet to reach the highest levels of leadership.”

Both men and women can utilize information in NCWIT’s Male Advocates and Allies: Promoting Gender Diversity in Technology Workplaces. The study: 1) identifies the factors that motivate or hinder men in advocating for gender diversity, 2) explores what diversity efforts men have experienced as successful or unsuccessful, and 3) identifies specific strategies to increase men's participation in advocacy.

Retaining Female Tech Talent

Did you know that women are leaving tech jobs twice as often as men? The Anita Borg Institute recently released the Women Technologists Count report, outlining ten important tips for retaining technical women and decreasing attrition rates within an organization.

Telle Whitney, President and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, describes the importance of retaining female tech talent as a “business imperative.” As described in NCWIT’s Scorecard, gender diversity is associated with “increased sales revenue, more customers, and greater profits.”

Read the ten tips for retaining women in tech roles from the report here. “What I'm excited about [in] this reports is that it shows that organizations can do something about retention and understand what that looks like," Telle said.

Learn more about retaining technical women and creating diverse technical teams with NCWIT’s resource, Resources for Retaining and Advancing Mid-career Technical Women Guide. Additionally, check out Top 10 Ways Managers Can Retain Technical Women.

NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing Recipients Are Affiliated with K-12 Alliance Member Organizations

Hello K-12 Alliance Members,

Did you know NCWIT is now accepting applications for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing? This is a national, high-school-level competition sponsored by Bank of America, recognizing any U.S. female with outstanding aptitude in computing and technology.

The majority of past Aspirations Award applicants mentioned participation in at least one K-12 Alliance member organization. In 2013, among the 858 Award recipients who reported extracurricular activities, 43% of them participated in a K-12 Alliance member organization. These organizations include 4-H, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), Digigirlz, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), MOUSE, and Techbridge. GSUSA had the highest participation rate of all the K-12 Alliance member organizations.

Want to get involved? Sign up to serve on your local Affiliate Award committee or to review some of the inspiring applications. Spread the word: information about the Award is also available in Spanish.