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Sun, Nov 4, 9:00 - 9:25, Ellwood 2     Paper (refereed)
Recommended Citation: Colyar, J and B S Woodward.  Women Studentsí Confidence in Information Technology Content Areas.  In The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2007, v 24 (Pittsburgh): §4124. ISSN: 1542-7382. (A later version appears in Information Systems Education Journal 6(62). ISSN: 1545-679X.)
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Women Studentsí Confidence in Information Technology Content Areas

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Refereed12 pages
Julia Colyar    [a1] [a2]
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
University at Buffalo The State University of New York    [u1] [u2]
Buffalo, New York, USA    [c1] [c2]

Belle S. Woodward    [a1] [a2]
Department of Information Systems and Applied Technology
Southern Illinois University    [u1] [u2]
Carbondale, Illinois, USA    [c1] [c2]

This paper reports on a survey administered to 105 students in information technology majors at a large, public Midwestern university. The survey was designed to address studentsí levels of self-confidence in IT-related content areas. In addition, the survey was intended to explore gender differences in IT student support needs. The study found that male and female students reported similar levels of confidence in mathematics. However, male students reported higher levels of self-confidence than female students in all IT-specific content areas. A regression analysis showed a correlation between gender and confidence in programming, networks, and cryptography. No differences were found in student support needs based on gender. This exploratory research supports some previous studies in this area, but provides additional information regarding the specific content areas in which women students need support. Unlike previous research, this survey showed no difference in math confidence based on gender. However, these findings indicate that women students may require additional support in other areas. This research is limited in terms of its generalizability; instead, it suggests areas for further research.

Keywords: Information technology, women students, academic self-confidence

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