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ERIC Number: EJ805053
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0830-0445
Use of Instructional Dialogue by University Students in a Difficult Distance Education Physics Course
Gorsky, Paul; Caspi, Avner; Smidt, Samantha
Journal of Distance Education, v21 n3 p1-22 2007
This study investigated the kinds of dialogic behavior engaged in by students while studying a difficult physics course at the Open University, UK. Research objectives were twofold: (1) to document what dialogue types, mediated through which resources, were utilized by students to overcome conceptual difficulties that emerged while reading the course materials and while solving difficult Tutor Marked Assignments and (2) to correlate dialogic behaviors with several student attributes (age, gender, motivation to achieve a high grade, learning preference and a prior acquaintance with at least one other student in the course). Two main findings emerged: (1) initially, a large majority of students dealt with both kinds of difficulty individually, on their own; only when such efforts failed did they turn to interpersonal dialogue and (2) a very large majority of students turned to instructors for help, not to their peers. The first finding replicated those from previous studies while the second finding differed from previous ones wherein students turned overwhelmingly to peers, not to instructors. (Contains 8 tables and 1 figure.)
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE). 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom