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Experiences of Closeness in Online Learning Environments

  • Author / Creator
    Vargas Madriz, Luis F
  • In the online classroom, students often find themselves in front of a computer, looking at a bright screen, interacting with classmates and teachers through a keyboard and a mouse, and in some cases, listening to and watching someone that is not physically present with them. Some researchers claim that students may feel socially isolated if they are geographically distant from their classmates and teachers, resulting in a lack of engagement and motivation, and subsequently poor academic achievement. And so we may begin to wonder, is it possible for students experience meaningful moments of engagement in online classrooms? And if so, what is the nature of student engagement online and how might it differ qualitatively from face-to-face classroom interactions? Drawing on phenomenology of practice (van Manen, 2014), in this study I explore what it is like for students to experience a sense of closeness to others in an online learning environment. The aim of this research is to bring attention to the ways some students may share close and personal experiences with their classmates and teachers in online pedagogical spaces, despite the possible technological constraints in such settings.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3XM3K
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Specialization
    • Technology in Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Adams, Catherine (Secondary Education)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Smith, Veronica (Educational Psychology)
    • Buck, George (Educational Psychology)