Publisher: Distance Education Association of New Zealand   (Total: 1 journals)   [Sort by number of followers]

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J. of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning     Open Access   (Followers: 31)
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Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning
Number of Followers: 31  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1179-7665 - ISSN (Online) 1179-7673
Published by Distance Education Association of New Zealand Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Connecting Past and Future Educational Practice: A Post-COVID-19 Present

    • Authors: Simon Paul Atkinson, Alison Fields
      Pages: 1 - 4
      Abstract: The challenges of supporting learners at a distance are enduring. But the nature of these challenges is changing, and this change has been particularly notable since the beginning of the pandemic and the rapid worldwide move to distance and online learning. A brief look is taken at the evolving nature of the distance-student experience under the theme of “Time is the new distance”. This is complemented with four papers in this issue, each of which is concerned with an aspect of meeting the challenges of supporting distance learners. Hartline et al. draw attention to the importance of the teacher’s presence in decreasing student anxiety. Forbes explores the effectiveness of asynchronous communication as an effective learner support. Cameron et al. share a national perspective from a wider international study, concluding that clear communication by institutions and other authorities can reduce uncertainty for students and is necessary to mitigate the negative effects of future disruptions to study. And finally, Adebisi and Olatunji round off the set of articles with findings that the key psychosocial experience of students revolves around the flexibility and cost of distance learning, work–life pressures, and the availability of faculty.
      PubDate: 2022-07-31
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 1 (2022)
  • Through their eyes: Student perspectives

    • Authors: Alexandra Hartline, Sheri Conklin, Amy Garrett Dikkers
      Pages: 5 - 26
      Abstract: Connecting with students has been shown to increase motivation, satisfaction, and perceived learning while decreasing anxiety. Connecting with students in an online or distance education environment can prove difficult. This study examined perceptions of higher education students who were enrolled in various modalities (e.g., hybrid, online asynchronous, and synchronous) during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States of America. The study found that a high perception of instructor connectedness in the asynchronous classes resulted in lower anxiety levels for students. Four themes emerged from the results: the importance of instructor empathy; sociability; feedback; and course organisation. These helped students to connect to their instructor—thus reducing anxiety.
      PubDate: 2022-07-31
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 1 (2022)
  • Student expectations of peers in academic asynchronous online discussion

    • Authors: Dianne Forbes
      Pages: 27 - 41
      Abstract: In open, flexible, and distance learning, asynchronous online discussion persists as a popular means of interaction and collaboration. The research literature abounds with consideration of instructor roles and expectations of teachers and tools. Student-to-student interaction is widely acknowledged as a salient benefit of asynchronous online discussion, with implications for collaborative learning and problem-solving, as well as student satisfaction and course commitment. But what do students expect of their peers when communicating online for learning purposes' This question has seldom been considered, despite common reliance on peer-to-peer learning interactions. This small-scale case study incorporates an online focus group and semi-structured interviews with second-year undergraduate students studying primary teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand. The students in this study expect responsive, free-flowing contributions by peers, culminating in discussion that is active and interactive. Given the imperative to value student experience and to involve students in active learning, it is timely to share peer expectations so that students are accountable to their class community and are better prepared for collaborative learning through asynchronous online discussion.
      PubDate: 2022-07-31
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 1 (2022)
  • The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education students in New

    • Authors: Michael P. Cameron, Barbara Fogarty-Perry, Gemma Piercy
      Pages: 42 - 62
      Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic and associated move to online learning for students in higher education has been disruptive and challenging. We report on the New Zealand arm of an international survey of higher education students (n = 147). Using quantitative and qualitative data from the survey, we find that students coped reasonably well with the disruption to their studies and were generally satisfied with how their lecturers and institutions responded to unanticipated lockdowns. In comparison with the global sample, New Zealand students demonstrated a higher level of satisfaction. New Zealand students reported the highest satisfaction with recorded video lectures, whereas the global sample preferred real-time teaching. Many New Zealand students felt that their studies were negatively affected, and vulnerable groups such as students with low financial resources were the most severely affected. Moreover, students reported a range of negative emotions during lockdown that suggest mental health impacts may be a concern. Our results indicate that clear communication from authorities, reducing the uncertainty for students, and ensuring that vulnerable groups are appropriately supported, may be the best avenues to reduce negative impacts on students during future significant disruptions to study, whether pandemic-related or otherwise.
      PubDate: 2022-07-31
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 1 (2022)
  • Sociodemographics and Psychosocial Experiences of Distance Learners in
           Nigeria: A Comparison of Single-mode and Dual-mode Universities

    • Authors: Tajudeen Adebisi, Taiwo Olatunji
      Pages: 63 - 83
      Abstract: The study explored the psychosocial experience of distance learners at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife. Psychosocial experience refers to the aggregate outcome of events and feelings that define or affect a person’s knowledge and perception of their prevailing social environment. The study adopted mixed-methods phenomenology research design. We deployed multiphase mixed-method sampling involving a quota sampling technique to select 182 respondents, and a purposive sampling technique to select eight interviewees selected from the initial respondents—four students from each of NOUN and OAU. Two researcher-designed instruments—a questionnaire and an in-depth interview guide—were deployed for data collection. The collected data were analysed with frequency counts, percentage analysis, and phenomenological analysis. Analysis of their sociodemographic characteristics showed that the profile of the students at the dual-mode university (OAU) reflects characteristics of conventional distance learners more than does the profile of the students at the single-mode university (NOUN). Distance learners at NOUN and OAU had both similar and different psychosocial experience. Their experience was largely positive—only 14% and 12.3% of NOUN and OAU students (respectively) had considered dropping out. Factors affecting learners’ experience in both institutions included personal motivation, the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of distance learning, insufficiency of facilitator-led tutorials (at NOUN), and difficulties due to work and family responsibilities (at OAU). The study concluded that Nigerian distance learners possess the requisite psychosocial capacity to negotiate meaning and acquire knowledge in single-mode or dual-mode institutions.
      PubDate: 2022-07-31
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 1 (2022)
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