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STUDENT DISTRESS IN A WEB-BASED DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSE

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Many advocates of computer-mediated distance education emphasize its positive aspects and understate the kinds of communicative and technical capabilities and work required by students and faculty. There are few systematic analytical studies of students who have experienced new technologies in higher education. This article presents a qualitative case study of a small graduate-level web-based distance education course at a major US university.This paper examines students' distressing experiences due to communication breakdowns and technical difficulties. This topic is glossed over in much of the distance education literature written for administrators, instructors and prospective students. The intent is that this study will enhance understanding of the instructional design issues, instructor and student preparation, and communication practices that are needed to improve web-based distance education courses.

Keywords: ASYNCHRONOUS COMMUNICATION; DISTANCE EDUCATION; ONLINE LEARNING; STUDENT EXPERIENCES; WWW

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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