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Gender differences and similarities in online courses: challenging stereotypical views of womenThis paper considers gender differences in online contexts and examines current trends in women's performance, access and experience of online courses. It uses supportive case study examples and specific research into student' academic engagement, conceptions and perceptions of learning support in online environments. The analysis shows that women studying online are confident independent learners who may outperform their male counterparts. They do not have reduced computer and Internet access compared with men, nor are they disinclined to enrol on online courses. They attach greater value to the pastoral aspect of tutoring and have different interaction styles from men, which may have implications for online tutoring support. The gender debate needs to move on from access and performance to the differences and similarities in the degree of importance that men and women place on different interaction and tutoring styles online.