Promoting equality in higher education computer programming courses through cooperative learning

Every day we live with more technology and computer systems. It is widely known that this technology is not neutral and can harm citizens, specially women. A possible cause for this lack of neutrality could be the under-representation of women on development teams. Our hypothesis is that the motivation of female students could increase through the use of alternative didactic methodologies, specifically the cooperative learning, including the gender dimension in its design. This study describes and analyses the use of cooperative learning to teach computer programming courses in a higher education STEM discipline, the Math degree. The statistical evaluation of the perception of the students along two academic years was very positive, specially for the female students.

keywords: computer programming, cooperative learning, Gender perspective, gender, inequality, mathematics, STEM