Gendered differences versus doing gender: a systematic review on the role of gender in CSCL

Dana Kube*, Joshua Weidlich, Ioana Jivet, Karel Kreijns, Hendrik Drachsler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Gender equity in education is an essential UN sustainable development goal. However, it is unclear what aspects of gender are important to consider in regard to research outcomes as well as how findings can be interpreted in the context of gender stereotypes and bias. This lack of clarity is particularly salient in the STEM field. Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is a group learning method where learners work together on group tasks that aim at the sharing and co-construction of knowledge. Aside from the cognitive learning gains, the literature reports that CSCL can bring social and psychological benefits, such as fostering positive mutual relationships and increased understanding of equity and diversity. In order to elaborate on the assumed potential of CSCL to support equity and diversity goals in education, this systematic literature will focus on the role of gender in CSCL. Although gender issues in CSCL have been examined before, a comprehensive overview is still lacking. Based on the PRISMA method, the current systematic review considers 27 articles, and explores (1) how gender is addressed, (2) what findings concerning gender are reported, and (3) the potential of CSCL to create more gender inclusive learning contributing to the UN SDGs. Our findings show that most studies addressed gender as a binary predictor for participation, communication, or attitude. Less than half of the studies treated gender more nuanced by defining gender as a social construct. This review highlights the need for additional research on the role of gender in CSCL, alongside more methodologies that can account for the complexities this entails. It is estimated that there is some potential for CSCL to decrease gender stereotypes and gender bias in STEM education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-688
Number of pages28
Issue number4
Early online date3 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • CSCL
  • Education
  • Educational technology
  • Gender
  • STEM


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