Women’s Participation in the Information Systems Career at the National University of Costa Rica and Their Performance in Programming Courses

Sonia Mora-Rivera, Mayela Coto-Chotto, Johnny Villalobos-Murillo

Abstract


It is well documented worldwide the low presence of women in informatics careers, and this phenomenon seems to have grown in recent years. This article describes the current situation in the Information Systems career in the School of Informatics at the National University of Costa Rica (UNA). The problem of low female participation is analyzed in two dimensions: recruitment and retention. To study recruitment, we have analyzed the institutional indices of application and admission. To study retention, we have analyzed student achievement in the programming area, because it is considered a central area in the curriculum and an area of difficulty for students. The analysis is performed using data obtained from the UNA Registration Department in a period of 8 years, from 2007 to 2014. The findings support the worldwide results about the underrepresentation of women in the career. Permanency patterns are similar for both sex, and women tend to be more effective in graduating. Additionally, the first two courses of programming seem to represent difficulties for all students, but women tend to have lower performance. In general, the study aims to be a starting point to propose educational actions to improve the rates of representation and permanence of women in the career, while increasing the number of graduates in the area; an issue that is of institutional, national and international interest.


Keywords


Academic admission; higher education; women; engineering; computer programming

References


Berenson, S. B., Slaten, K. M., Williams, L. y Ho, C.-W. (2012). Voices of women in a software engineering course: Reflections on collaboration. Journal on Educational Resources in Computing, 4(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1060071.1060074

Beyer, S., Dekeuster, M., Walter, K., Colar, M. y Holcomb, C. (2005). Changes in CS students’ attitudes towards CS over time: An examination of gender differences. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 37(1), 392-396. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1047124.1047475

Beyer, S., Rynes, K., Perrault, J., Hay, K. y Haller, S. (2003). Gender differences in computer science students. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 35(1), 49-53. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/792548.611930

Byrne, P. y Lyons, G. (2001). The effect of student attributes on success in programming. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 33(3), 49-52. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/507758.377467

Cohoon, J. (2002). Recruiting and retaining women in undergraduate computing majors. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 34(2), 48-52. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/543812.543829

Fisher, A., Margolis, J. y Miller, F. (1997). Undergraduate women in computer science: Experience, motivation and culture. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 29(1), 106-119 doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/268085.268127

Goold, A. y Rimmer, R. (2000). Factors affecting performance in first-year computing. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 32(2), 39-43. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/355354.355369

Hagan, D. y Markham, S. (2000). Does it help to have some programming experience before beginning a computing degree program? ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 32(3), 25-28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/353519.343063

Katz, S., Allbritton, D., Aronis, J., Wilson, C. y Soffa, M. L. (2006). Gender, achievement, and persistence in an undergraduate computer science program. ACM SIGMIS Bulletin, 37(4), 42-57. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1185335.1185344

Klawe, M. y Leveson, N. (1995). Women in computing: Where are we now? Communications of the ACM, 38(1), 29-35. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/204865.204874

Lamas, M. (Comp.). (1997). El género: La construcción cultural de la diferencia sexual. México, DF MX: Miguel Angel Porrúa. Grupo Editorial.

Lewis, S., Lang, C. y McKay, J. (2007). An inconvenient truth: The invisibility of women in ICT. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 15(1), 59-76. doi: https://doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v15i1.479

Margolis, J. y Fisher, A. (2003). Unlocking the clubhouse: Women in computing. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Marín, G., Barrantes, E. G. y Chavarría, S. (2008). Are women becoming extinct in the Computer Science and Informatics Program? CLEI Electronic Journal, 11(2), 1-11. Recuperado de http://www.clei.org/cleiej/papers/v11i2p6.pdf

Mata, F. J., Matarrita, R. y Pinto, C. (2012). Assessing computer education in Costa Rica: Results of a supply and demand study of ICT human resources. CLEI Electronical Journal, 15(1), 1-18. doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/CLEI.2012.6427245

Mata, F. J., Quesada, A. y Raventós, G. M. (2012). Gender gap in computer science programs from Costa Rican Public universities. En Informatica (CLEI), 38 Conferencia Latinoamericana (pp. 1-7). http://doi.org/10.1109/CLEI.2012.6427245

McDowell, C., Werner, L., Bullock, H. E. y Fernald, J. (2003). The impact of pair programming on student performance, perception and persistence. En 25 International Conference on software engineering (pp. 602-607). USA: IEEE Computer Society. doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/icse.2003.1201243

Miliszewska, I., Barker, G., Henderson, F. y Sztendur, E. (2006). The issue of gender equity in computer science--what students say. Journal of Information Technology Education, 5, 107-120.

Murphy, L., Richards, B., Mccauley, R., Morrison, B. B., Westbrook, S. y Fossum, T. (2006). Women catch up: Gender differences in learning programming concepts. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 38(1), 17-21. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1124706.1121350

Ramírez, W. M. y Rodríguez, I. (Octubre, 2013). ¿Por qué ingresan tan pocas mujeres a la carrera de Informática Empresarial del Recinto de Tacares de la Universidad de Costa Rica? Un enfoque de género. Ponencia presentada en la 39 Conferencia Latinoamericana de Informatica, Venezuela.

Rich, L., Perry, H. y Guzdial, M. (2004). A CS1 course designed to address interests of women. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 36(1), 190-194. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1028174.971370

Sackrowitz, M. G. y Parelius, A. P. (1996). An unlevel playing field: Women in the introductory computer science courses. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 28(1), 37-41. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/236462.236488

Scragg, G. y Smith, J. (1998). A study of barriers to women in undergraduate computer science. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin 30(1), 82-86. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/274790.273167

Stoilescu, D. y Egodawatte, G. (2010). Gender differences in the use of computers, programming, and peer interactions in computer science classrooms. Computer Science Education, 20(4), 283-300. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/08993408.2010.527691

Ventura, P. y Ramamurthy, B. (2004). Wanted: CS1 students, no experience required. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 36(1), 240-244. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1028174.971387

Vilner, T. y Zur, E. (2006). Once she makes it, she is there: Gender differences in computer science study. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 38(3), 227-231- doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/1140123.1140185

Wilson, B. C. (2002). A study of factors promoting success in computer science including gender differences. Computer Science Education, 12(1-2), 141-164. doi: https://doi.org/10.1076/csed.12.1.141.8211

Wilson, B. C. (2006). Gender differences in types of assignments preferred: Implications for computer science instruction. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 34(3), 245-255. doi: https://doi.org/10.2190/7FLU-VKJL-86RM-5RQG

Wilson, B. C. y Shrock, S. (2001). Contributing to success in an introductory computer science course: A study of twelve factors. En H. Walker, R. McCauley, J. Gersting e I. Russell (Chairmen), Proceedings of the 32nd SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 184-188). SIGCSE. New York: ACM. doi: https://doi.org/10.1145/366413.364581




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15359/ree.21-1.12



Educare Electronic Journal. e-ISSN: 1409-4258 Email: educare@una.cr Phone: (506) 2277-3372  (506) 8913-6810

Web Managers Área UNAWEB - CGT - DTIC - Universidad Nacional Adapted from Open Journal System 

Revista Electrónica Educare.   ISSN Electrónico: 1409-4258.

Sitio Web desarrollado por Área UNAWEB

Adaptación de Open Journal System