Essay StatsEssay Stats

  • Posted By: reese
  • Date Posted: 07/05/2011
  • Category: Others
  • Words: 7404
  • Pages: 30
  • Views: 673
  • Rank: 763

The Perception Of A Supportive Distance Learning Environment

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The Perception Of A Supportive Distance Learning Environment


This paper reports the process and findings of a qualitative research designed to explore the perception of a supportive distance learning environment and the needs of learners of an online distance learning Finance course offered by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia. The focus of the research was the learners' own reflection of their personal, academic and social needs as they trudged into the online learning environment. Using a phenomenological approach on seven participants, this article demonstrates how online learners were able to explicate their needs through their narratives on their initial experience, the difficulties they faced and what they believe to be a supportive learning environment. It further reports the email correspondence that took place during which the data was continuously subjected to content analysis and participant validation. Building upon existing theories of adult learning (andragogy), and online learning, this research demonstrates how seven adult learners perceived their learning needs as online learners. The results shows the emerging concept of a supportive learning environment and themes of needs that revolve around (1)the instructor, (2) structured learning resources and (3) regulation of learning activities.


Learning support, online learning needs, supportive learning environment

List of Topics


Learner Support in Distance Education

Research Purpose and Research Questions


Research Design and Data Collection

Strategies for Data Analysis


A Typology of Learning Needs

Change of Needs

Participation in the Online Forum

Conclusions and Recommendations




The advent of technology provides opportunities for more interactive and flexible distance learning program to be developed. Traditional face-to-face learning and print based distance learning programs have experienced face lifts and adaptations to the web. While more working adults are studying online with no face to face interaction with the instructors, some may have left formal educations for years and with minimal ...


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