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ERIC Number: EJ940910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-1547-9714
A Meta-Ethnographic Synthesis of Support Services in Distance Learning Programs
Tuquero, Jean Marie
Journal of Information Technology Education, v10 pIIP 157-IIP 179 2011
This qualitative study utilized a meta-ethnographic approach to synthesize findings of five dissertations that focused on distance learning support services. The history of ethnographical studies stemmed from an anthropological background. Researchers have applied ethnographical approaches to examine and document various phenomena. This meta-ethnographical study explored existing research on distance learning support services in higher education. Each individual researcher of the five dissertations used in this study established validity through coding, cross-coding, and triangulation for their results. The approach of this meta-ethnographic study consisted of seven phases: (a) phase 1-getting started with a literature review, (b) phase 2-deciding what is relevant to initial interest, (c) phase 3-reading the studies, (d) phase 4-determining how studies are related, (e) phase 5-translating studies into one another, (f) phase 6-synthesis translation, and (g) phase 7-expressing synthesis. Each phase assisted in the identification process of possible relationships, interpretations, multiple perspectives, and analogies from the five dissertations identified for this study. The in-depth scrutiny of each dissertation required multiple readings. Therefore, qualitative data analysis software assisted in the codification of metaphors and aided in maintaining objectivity during the interpretive phase of the meta-ethnographic process. The iterative nature of reading and investigating dissertations required for meta-ethnographies revealed the relationships evident in distance learning support services relevant to adult learners. The relationships between the dissertations highlighted these four holistic themes with core elements connected to current developments in distance learning support services: (a) web-based design, (b) support services, (c) stakeholder perceptions, and (d) learner attrition. The results of this meta-ethnographical study will assist the future design and framework of support service functions in distance learning. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; South Carolina