My children… think it’s cool that Mum is a uni student: Women with caring responsibilities studying online.

  • Cathy Margaret Mary Stone The University of Newcastle & the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6367-8810
  • Sarah Elizabeth O'Shea University of Wollongong
Keywords: Student equity, gender, online learning, higher education

Abstract

Much has been written about the growing influence and reach of online learning in higher education, including the opportunities that this can offer for improving student equity and widening participation. One area of student equity in which online learning has an influence is that of gender equity, particularly for mature-age students. This article explicitly explores how the dual identities of student and family carer are managed by women studying online. It highlights the largely invisible yet emotional and time-consuming additional load that many women are carrying and discusses the importance of this being recognised and accommodated at an institutional level. Online study has the potential to facilitate a more manageable and achievable study path for students with caring responsibilities, most of whom are women. Institutional understanding and awareness are required for this potential to be truly realised, thereby reducing educational inequity.

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Author Biographies

Cathy Margaret Mary Stone, The University of Newcastle & the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)
Conjoint Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Social Science
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Adjunct Research Fellow, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), Curtin University
Sarah Elizabeth O'Shea, University of Wollongong

Professor Sarah O’ Shea, PhD, CF, PFHEA

2019 Research Fellow, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) & Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR)

Chair, Wollongong Academy of Tertiary Teaching and Learning Excellence (WATTLE) 

Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow (ALTF)

Member, Centre for Higher Education Research, Innovation and Impact (CHERII)

School of Education, Social Sciences

University of Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia

Published
2019-12-28
How to Cite
Stone, C. M. M., & O’Shea, S. E. (2019). My children… think it’s cool that Mum is a uni student: Women with caring responsibilities studying online. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(6), 97-110. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.5504
Section
Special Issue 2019 - Digital Equity