Learning through online discussion: A case of triangulation in research
AbstractThis paper reports on issues in carrying out research into online discussion. The context is a study of a distance learning module within an MBA program. The module required students to tackle problems based on real life scenarios within small online groups. Students were studying part time and shared similar professional backgrounds. The research looked at students' overall evaluation of the module, ways in which group work was conducted, and the contribution of the tutor. The approach taken was an interpretive case study using questionnaire survey, text analysis and interviews. The main findings from the study are reported, but the focus is on the strengths of, and difficulties in, using the research methods. Triangulation of methods provides the researcher with a greater degree of confidence in reporting findings, although subjective interpretation is still needed.
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