Identifying and Removing Gender Barriers in Open Learning Communities: The Programming Historian
Open online learning communities are susceptible to gender barriers if not carefully constructed. Gender barriers were identified in The Programming Historian, through an open online discussion, which informed an anonymous user survey. The initial discussion pointed towards two barriers in particular: a technically challenging submission system and open peer review, as factors that needed consideration. Findings are put in context of the literature on gender and online communication, abuse, and online learning communities. The evidence suggests that open online learning communities such as The Programming Historian should work actively to promote a civil environment, and should listen to their communities about technical and social barriers to participation. Whenever possible, barriers should be removed entirely, but when that is not feasible due to financial or technical constraints, alternatives should be offered.