As a part of my mini research on online learning I was required to create a small scale survey or interview to administer to potential respondents; conduct the interview or survey and share about the process with you through posting a blog.
So, as we know the advancement of technology, the Internet revolution and development of management systems have contributed to exponential growth of online learning in the higher education environment. However,people have not entirely accepted online learning as the solid alternative of in-class education. They still debate and argue about the effectiveness of online education. Moreover, there abound misconceptions, misunderstandings and misinterpretations that may prevent students from experiencing this mode of learning.
In my small scale study I am researching online learning myths or misunderstandings that may prevent GSE students from accepting this type of learning experience. To explore, analyze, interpret and understand how has online learning been misinterpreted and how does this affect GSE students qualitative research design has been chosen. One-to-one semi-structured interview with open-ended questions was applied. Each interview lasted for about 30 minutes and was audio-recorded. The sampling procedure has been used in the study is convenience and purposeful sampling. It means all participants kindly agreed to take part in the research and students from four programs of GSE participated in data collection: Foundation, Bachelor, Masters and PhD. I selected students from different programs so that findings could demonstrate perceptions of online education specific for students of certain age, background and life experience.
Even I organized probing interview with two of my group mates to be sure that I created the questions properly and the respondents signed the interview consent forms and were informed about the purpose and focus of the study, I have faced some challenges during the interview process. The first is that some respondents deviated from the questions, responded too general and I had to address more specific questions or repeat the question several times to get more credible and full responds. As a result, the interview lasted for 10-15 minutes more than I have planned.
Secondly, some interviewees at the last moment refused to participate at interview due to unexpected circumstances. Moreover, one participant even did not come to interview without any excuses and I had to search and find another students who were eager to contribute. It also took time, patience and efforts.
Despite these challenges I could say that it was excellent experience for me to be in a role of interviewer and discover different opinions, fears and values. The most surprising thing is that I have found the answers to my own questions since I’ve had my hesitations about online learning.