This paper reports the results of an exploratory study on participants’ perception of the importance of single-gender grouping in a massive open online course (MOOC) delivered through the Coursera platform. Findings reveal that female and male learners’ perception of single-gender grouping differs. Female students more than males indicated less preference for single-gender grouping. Views on single-gender grouping also differed across regions, suggesting the effect of participants’ regions of origin on their opinions about single-gender grouping. Moreover, an interaction was established between participants’ region and gender. In particular, our study reveals that men in the “Asia and Pacific” region tended—more than men and women from other regions of the world—to give more importance to single-gender grouping in this MOOC. In addition, younger participants cared less about single-gender groups compared to older respondents. This study sheds light on our understanding of the importance of gender and age importance in online learning environments such as MOOCs. The findings also point to the role gender and age may play as MOOCs continue to gain in popularity and to adopt collaborative approaches to teaching and learning.
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