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ERIC Number: EJ1073713
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1499-6677
The Student Experience of Distance Education: Reviews of Two Qualitative Theses Designed to Explore the Day-to-Day Experience of Learners Studying Online
Kinash, Shelley; Crichton, Susan
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v29 n1 Win 2003
There is an emerging body of published research inquiring into distance education, yet the student experience is under-­represented. Berge and Mrozowski (2001) examined ten years (1990­-99) of dissertations and journal articles from four distance education journals. They reported that of 1,419 publications, 890 depicted research studies. They classified the research articles into ten different content themes. 31% of the articles addressed content themes regarding learners. Of these, 17% of the papers addressed learner characteristics, 8% redefining roles of key participants, and 6% learner support. The authors did not specify whether these papers incorporated experience from the perspective of the students although the labels of the content themes would suggest otherwise. This research review critiques two qualitative theses designed to explore the day-­to-­day experience of learners studying online. Both are written in the tradition of hermeneutic phenomenology, described by van Manen (1997) as "a "descriptive" methodology because it wants to be attentive to how things appear, it wants to let things speak for themselves" and as "an "interpretive" methodology because it claims that there are no such things as uninterpreted phenomena" (p.180). A commitment to learners and educators as active constructors of knowledge has implications for the research rationale, the questions asked, and the means of study. The reviewed research is motivated by a belief that improvements to distance education must be preceded by conversations with those invested in the experience, namely the students.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A