Re-examining the theory of transactional distance through the narratives of postgraduate online distance learners

Stapleford, K. and Lee, K. (2020) Re-examining the theory of transactional distance through the narratives of postgraduate online distance learners. In: 19th European Conference on e-Learning, 2020-10-292020-10-30.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Current research into online distance learning (ODL) has established the importance of interaction to counter the potential isolation of ODL, and subsequent attrition. Consequently, ODL programme designers and instructors seek to maximise opportunities for interaction. However, much of this research focuses on factors relating to the immediate performance and behaviours of learners within an academy-bounded (or institutionalised) learning environment. Given that online learning is situated in learners' life outside the academy (particularly for postgraduates, who are often working professionals), ODL study needs to develop a broader conceptualisation of interaction. One of the most influential theoretical accounts used as a basis for 'testing' the effectiveness of different forms of interaction in ODL is Moore's (1993) theory of transactional distance (TTD). Transactional Distance (TD) refers to the psychological and communicative separation of teacher and learner. Despite its transcendental usefulness, TTD was originally developed at a time when distance learning was of the correspondence variety; thus, it tends to be instruction- and instructor-focused without appropriately reflecting contemporary ODL. Along with the long life-span of the theory, the narratives of distance learning have been dominated by descriptions of learners' immediate performance within the academy, written from the institution's perspective. Therefore, there is a need to re-examine and re-create the dominant narratives of ODL from the learners' perspective. Using narrative inquiry and photo-elicitation, this study investigates the lived experiences of part-time postgraduate online distance learners (ODLS) studying a professionally related Master's degree. It examines multiple forms of learner interactions within and beyond the study environment, and how these impact on their experienced TD. The narrative data suggest that TTD is no longer sufficient for explaining the learner experience. We offer a more nuanced interpretation of the theory, informed by participants' stories and recast from the learners' perspective. This reconceptualisation will be of interest to ODL programme designers, instructors, and learners when seeking to achieve a meaningful ODL experience. © 2020 Academic Conferences Limited. All rights reserved.

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title:
19th European Conference on e-Learning
Additional Information:
Conference code: 165416 Export Date: 5 January 2021 References: Ali, A., Smith, D., Comparing social isolation effects on students attrition in online versus face-to-face courses in computer literacy (2015) Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 12, pp. 11-20; Anderson, T., (2008) The theory and practice of online learning, , 2nd ed. edn.: Athabasca University Press; Arifin, M. H., Exploring factors in contributing student progress in the Open University (2016) International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 6 (1), p. 29; Baxter, J. A., Who am I and what keeps me going? Profiling the distance learning student in higher education (2012) The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13 (4), pp. 107-129; Bolliger, D. U., Inan, F. A., Development and validation of the online student connectedness survey (OSCS) (2012) The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13 (3), pp. 41-65; Boyle, F., Kwon, J., Ross, C., Simpson, O., Student-student mentoring for retention and engagement in distance education (2010) Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 25 (2), pp. 115-130; Brown, L. M., Gilligan, C., (1992) Meeting at the crossroads: women's psychology and girls' development, , Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press; Bruner, J., Life as narrative (2004) Soc. Res, 71 (3), pp. 691-710; Bryman, A., (2016) Social research methods, , 5th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Buck, S., In Their Own Voices: Study Habits of Distance Education Students (2016) Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 10 (3-4), pp. 137-173; Choi, H., Lee, Y., Jung, I., Latchem, C., The Extent of and Reasons for Non Re-Enrollment: A Case of Korea National Open University (2013) International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14 (4), pp. 19-36; Cohen, L., Manion, L., Morrison, K., (2011) Research methods in education, , 7 edn. Abingdon: Routledge; Collier, J., Photography in Anthropology: A Report on Two Experiments (1957) American Anthropologist, 59 (5), pp. 843-859; Croft, N., Dalton, A., Grant, M., Overcoming Isolation in Distance Learning: Building a Learning Community through Time and Space (2010) Journal for Education in the Built Environment, 5 (1), pp. 27-64; Deakin, H., Wakefield, K., Skype interviewing: reflections of two PhD researchers (2014) Qualitative Research, 14 (5), pp. 603-616; Dewey, J., Bentley, A. F., Interaction and Transaction (1946) The Journal of Philosophy, 43 (19), pp. 505-517; Erichsen, E. A., Bolliger, D. U., Towards understanding international graduate student isolation in traditional and online environments (2011) Educational Technology Research and Development, 59 (3), pp. 309-326; Garnham, B., Data Generation (2008) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods, , Given, L.M. (ed) Thousand Oaks, California; Garrison, D., Randy, Anderson, T., (2003) E-learning in the 21st century: a framework for research and practic, , London: Routledge Falmer, 2002; Garrison, D. R., (1989) Understanding distance education, , London: Routledge; Giossos, Y., Koutsouba, M., Lionarakis, A., Skavantzos, K., Reconsidering Moore's Transactional Distance Theory (2009) European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, (2); Goel, L., Zhang, P., Templeton, M., Transactional distance revisited: Bridging face and empirical validity (2012) Computers in Human Behavior, 28 (4), pp. 1122-1129; Harasim, L., (2017) Learning theory and online technologies, , Taylor & Francis; Hong, S., Jung, I., The distance learner competencies: A three-phased empirical approach (2011) Educational Technology Research and Development, 59 (1), pp. 21-42; Keegan, D., (1996) Foundations of Distance Education, , 3rd edn. London: Routledge; Margolis, E., Pauwels, L., (2011) The SAGE handbook of visual research methods [electronic resource], , SAGE; Moore, M. G., Learner autonomy: The second dimension of independent learning (1972) Convergence, 5 (2), p. 76; Moore, M. G., Toward a Theory of Independent Learning and Teaching (1973) The Journal of Higher Education, 44 (9), pp. 661-679; Moore, M. G., Theory of transactional distance (1993) Theoretical principles of distance education, pp. 22-38. , Keegan, D. (ed) London: Routledge; Moore, M. G., The Theory of Transactional Distance (2013) The Handbook of Distance Education, , Moore, M. (ed); Olson, J. S., McCracken, F. E., Is It Worth the Effort? The Impact of Incorporating Synchronous Lectures into an Online Course (2015) Online Learning, 19 (2); Perveen, A., Synchronous and asynchronous e-Language learning: A case study of virtual university of Pakistan (2016) Open Praxis, 8 (1), p. 21; Phirangee, K., Students' Perceptions of Learner-Learner Interactions that Weaken a Sense of Community in an Online Learning Environment (2016) Online Learning, 20 (4), pp. 13-33; Phirangee, K., Malec, A., Othering in online learning: an examination of social presence, identity, and sense of community (2017) Distance Education, 38 (2), pp. 160-172; Purarjomandlangrudi, A., Chen, D., Nguyen, A., (2017) Investigating the Drivers of Student Interaction and Engagement in Online Courses: A Study of State-of-the-Art, 15 (2), pp. 269-286; Rush, P., Isolation and Connection: The Experience of Distance Education (2015) International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 30 (2); Siemens, G., Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age (2005) International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2 (1); Stanczak, G. C., (2007) Visual research methods [electronic resource]: image, society, and representation, , Sage Publications; Steiner, L., Schlosser, C., Mendez, G., Overcoming Distance Learner Isolation With a Knowledge-Based Social Network: The Dissertation Café E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2013, p. 2254. , Las Vegas, NV, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE); Torun, E. D., Synchronous Interaction in Online Learning Environments with Adobe Connect Pro (2013) Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 106, pp. 2492-2499; Watts, L., (2016) Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication in Distance Learning, 17 (1), pp. 23-32; Yamagata-Lynch, L. C., Blending Online Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning (2014) International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15 (2), pp. 189-212
Subjects:
ID Code:
150447
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
23 Jun 2021 18:15
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
14 Oct 2021 06:06