Riding the emotional rollercoaster? Emotions in online doctoral studies

Lee, Kyungmee and Citron, Francesca M. M. (2024) Riding the emotional rollercoaster? Emotions in online doctoral studies. Studies in Continuing Education. ISSN 0158-037X (In Press)

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Abstract

This multi-year mixed-method research explores the first-year online doctoral students’ emotional experiences. Forty-eight students who embarked on a fully online doctoral programme between 2018 and 2022 completed a questionnaire four times across the first six months—the most critical period for students to decide whether to continue their studies. The questionnaire quantitatively measured the intensity of 36 different emotions felt by each student in two contexts, respectively related to ‘doctoral studies’ and ‘life in general’. Participants also qualitatively recorded their responses to the most intense emotions, detailing reasons for such experiences. Based on quantitative data, a principal component analysis extracted five meaningful clusters: Positive emotions, Negative cognitive emotions, Negative gut reactions, Isolation, and Intrigued. The repeated-measures ANOVAs of each cluster showed meaningful patterns and changes depending on context and across the four points. The qualitative data was analysed using a constant comparative method, providing deeper insights into online doctoral students’ emotional experiences. The results highlight that although students undergo many negative emotions, those emotions do not always lead to negative experiences. Engaging with new academic challenges and other doctoral students with similar aspirations makes them feel much more positive and less isolated in their studies than in their general lives.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Studies in Continuing Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
Subjects:
?? emotionsonline doctoral educationdoctoral studentsonline learningisolationno - not fundedyeseducation ??
ID Code:
221188
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
07 Jun 2024 10:20
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
In Press
Last Modified:
14 Jun 2024 01:36