Barriers and challenges experienced by learners in a Web-based masters of education program

Coleman, Elizabeth (2003) Barriers and challenges experienced by learners in a Web-based masters of education program. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the experiences of students in a web-based graduate program and to identify, from the learners' perspectives, some of the barriers and challenges encountered. The study, which involved twenty students, relied on qualitative methodology. Data were collected entirely through the use of web-based technology making use of a discussion forum, online questionnaire, and synchronous chat within WebCT™. -- The findings of the study are grouped according to three themes: New Forms of Communicating, New Forms of Learning, and New Forms of Interacting. Some of the main challenges as described by the participants, include the following: use of asynchronous and synchronous forms of communication, participation in discussion forums, isolation as a learner, inefficiency of online communication, lack of opportunity to socialize, adaptation to new roles as learners, need to acquire new skills, lack of feedback and interaction from instructors, lack of technical and web-based communication skills among instructors and web-based group work. -- The study indicates that being a learner in a web-based environment has implications for the learner, as well as for the instructor and the institution, and that a learner in a web-based environment cannot be viewed in the same manner as a learner in a face-to-face environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10323
Item ID: 10323
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 133-135.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2003
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Distance education--Computer-assisted instruction; Education--Study and teaching (Graduate); Education, Higher--Effect of technological innovations on; Internet in higher education.

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