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ERIC Number: EJ770659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0513
Conversations in Cyberspace: A Study of Online Learning
Browne, Elizabeth
Open Learning, v18 n3 p245-259 Sep 2003
This article provides a summary of research that examines interaction between lecturers and learners engaged on a Masters Degree in Education delivered online. Using traditional quantitative and qualitative research methods, the research moves into the relatively new realms of researching online. By applying a methodology known as "cyber-ethnography" insight is gained into the experience of staff and students. The course specific research findings are discussed and the process of researching in virtual space is evaluated. The findings identify advantages to the learner when asynchronous communication provides time for reflection and considered response. Further advantages are identified in the opportunity to consult across the globe on issues of practice. The creation of communities of personal support networks that reach beyond the considerations of the course are identified and assessed. Disadvantages are identified with the technology itself and associated issues of access, equity and support. Recommendations arising from the research are for greater focus on the role of the tutor in virtual learning situations with consideration given to the time commitment required of lecturing staff. Evaluation of the research methodology highlights the need for a clearer definition of cyber-ethnography, greater understanding of the social worlds inhabited in cyberspace and a code of practice for those researching on the net.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom