The Effect of Gender on Student Self-Assessment in Introductory Computer Science Classes

Document Type


Journal Title

The Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges

Conference Title

Papers of the 36th Annual CCSC Eastern Conference

Publication Date



This paper will discuss the way that male and female students rate their abilities in introductory computer science courses. For the past two semesters, students in an introductory computer science course were given a survey at the end of the semester, asking about their experiences in the course. The survey asked students their gender, and also to rate themselves in the course as being either below-average, average, or above-average. The first semester used a traditional lecture-based course delivery. The second semester used team-based learning, in an effort to have students get a better sense of their own and their fellow student’s abilities. In both courses however, female students rated them- selves significantly lower than male students did, despite the fact that female students actually did better on average (though not statistically significantly better). This paper discusses these results in some detail, and talks about some future work which aims to ameliorate this issue.


This article is freely accessible on the CCSC website at: https://www.ccsc.org/journal/past-issues/.

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