Over the a last few decades, technologyhas remarkably progressed with continuous pace, which leads to a great numberof innovations in various fields including education.
That was well exemplifiedby the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into foreign/secondlanguage teaching and learning, which contributed to the transformation of thetraditional learning settings into technology-facilitated learning setting (Oliver, 2002). As a result,the application of ICT in L2 teaching and learning generally enhanced learningperformance and efficiency (Edmunds, Thorpe, & Conole, 2012). Also, the useof Information and Communication Technology enabled students to express theiropinions and thoughts with less stress, more freedom and more motivation inonline interactive environment (Young, 2003). One of thecommon tools for creating such environment is the online discussion boards,which could be of Facebook, Wikipedia, the Learning Management System, etc. In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City Universityof Technology and Education (HCMUTE) is one of the universities which hasimplemented the use of the Learning Management System (LMS) into the trainingcourses for all teachers and students, especially for the EFL learners. The LMShas recently become commonplace as most of the EFL teachers and students of theuniversity has made the full use of it to create online interactive classrooms,where they can do most of the work online such as discussions, assessments andso on, beside traditional classrooms.
However, the sex ratio of the HCMUTE isnot balanced, since it is a technology-based university. The population of malestudents is significantly dominant over that of female students in most of thefaculties while vice versa in the others. Additionally, various research showedthat males and females had fairly different experience in online learningenvironment (Anderson & Haddad, 2005; DeNeui & Dodge,2006; Wolfe, 2000). To be morespecific, in terms of sex, the students were different in grades, number ofmessages and online interaction when they did online discussion (Bostock* & Lizhi, 2005). Moreover, Barrett and Lally (1999)’s researchasserted that men and women differed distinctively in their roles in onlinelearning environment, where men made longer messages than their counterpart,but females’ messages are more interactive than males’.
All the findings aboveare parts of their participation in online discussion board, which is also theresearcher’s interest. Therefore, this study is aimed to investigate whetherthere are any differences between males and females in terms of theirparticipation patterns in the LMS. Thus, the following question will be raisedfor the study: – What are the effects of genderon UTE-FFL students’ participation patterns in the LMS?