Distance Learning Student Engagement

11 August 2017
The Distance Learning Experience – Student Engagement
For over 20 years I've worked with Durham University Business School on a number of Distance Learning (DL) courses, and supervised students during their dissertations. An issue for me and others who deliver DL courses is how best to engage students, what the benefits are for them, for staff, and for the academic institution.
I've been preparing a paper to present at a conference in Durham, using a range of publications, much of which appears to reflect the experience of why engagement and collaboration is a good thing, and why it is difficult to achieve in a virtual environment when compared with face-to-face events. However, time and technology have moved on. We now have much more available on-line, much more facility for real-time conversations as well as asynchronous group discussions, but we have little to measure how useful this is in improving outcomes for everyone involved, and especially about what works best for students.
There are constraints: time for everyone involved, technology, cultural differences, and the misunderstandings that can arise as a result of the language we use. There is no inflexion, no change of tome, no raised eyebrows or other body-language in texts – even if we could add these using emojis which might be similarly misunderstood. So time for some deep thought.
In connection with the paper I am preparing there is a short questionnaire specifically for DL students on MBA courses. An introduction to it is below.
If you are able to respond as a current or recent MBA student on a DL course, please do so. 
If you have related interests and ideas that you are willing to share please reply to me by email and/or in the comments section here.
Next is an outline of the research approach and a link to the survey.
The Distance Learning Experience – Student Engagement
I am preparing a presentation for the Learning and Teaching conference at Durham University in September for which I am carrying out private research (ie, it is not funded by Durham University)  including a survey into Distance Learning student engagement. This is not part of any course evaluation for any academic institutions; its objective is to better understand the different forms of engagement by students, and what the advantages and disadvantages are, and how they help with the whole learning experience.
The data gathered may be used for publications related to the conference paper. After the conference there is the possibility of including conference delegate feedback in an update, and for that to be made available to Durham University and to other institutions, in the spirit of collaboration which my students will recognise as being central to my approach. 
I have obtained ethical approval from the Business School to conduct the research.
I might also use the results as part of further research and other papers.
Please can you complete the short survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FK23J7K
The survey is short – 5 minutes approximately – necessarily so because I know how busy we all are, and I would like a high response rate.
All responses will be anonymous unless you expressly state otherwise.
If you have any questions please contact me at b.e.tuckwood@durham.ac.uk
Thank you
blog comments powered by Disqus

Telephone Number 020 8295 2009

Email Address barry@tuckwood.co.uk

Back to top