Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Capturing the Distance (Online) Learner Experience
Keywords:Online learning, distance learning, student experience, online focus groups, student voice.
AbstractThis work in progress paper presents the findings of a small scale study conducted to gain insight into the ‘distance learner’ experience at a higher education institution. The study was undertaken in support of a wider project to improve and enhance online learning. Primary research was undertaken by an undergraduate student who conducted virtual focus groups with currently enrolled students using face to face video technology. This report documents the method and limitations of undertaking the research and summarises participants’ thoughts. Initial outcomes from the study suggest that students are generally content with learning and teaching online, but experience frustration with aspects of administration and course material signposting. Participants make a number of recommendations for overall improvement and this report concludes with plans for going forward and embedding their ideas into the wider project and developing opportunities for further student input to their learning.
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