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dc.contributor.advisorGasson, Ruth
dc.contributor.advisorPratt, Keryn
dc.contributor.authorGalvin, Raylene June
dc.date.available2010-12-07T02:57:10Z
dc.date.copyright2010
dc.identifier.citationGalvin, R. J. (2010). The benefits of peer support for online learners (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/448en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/448
dc.description.abstractIn recent years the increased availability of online postgraduate papers has attracted a diverse range of learners. Many learners, due to their physical location, family or employment commitments, are unable to enrol in an on-campus paper. Online learners can experience feelings of isolation from other class members, the lecturer, learning community and the wider university. Peer support is a voluntary partnership where learners provide each other with informal feedback, encouragement and/or engage in discussions about the content of their paper. It has the potential to provide a layer of support for learners, in addition to that already available from the lecturer or the university. A qualitative design was used to explore the research question: How does peer support benefit online learners? Two sub-questions were also addressed: (1) What issues do peer support partners face? and (2) In what ways does peer support meet partners’ needs? Six participants worked with a partner, known as their ‘study buddy’ for one university semester. Data from two focus group interviews, individual interviews, diaries and/or contact charts and a questionnaire was presented in three case studies. This study showed that participants benefited from using peer support. They jointly constructed knowledge, gave and received scaffolding that helped them clarify their ideas and had access to another perspective about the paper content. Some of the issues participants faced during their learning, such as finding information about assessment requirements were resolved through interaction with a peer support partner. The results suggested that peer support partnerships were effective when participants received feedback, advice, encouragement and answers to their questions. They appreciated having another learner who was able to provide support for them during their academic study. It would be valuable to investigate whether the patterns emerging from this study were similar for other online learners in different courses and universities.en_NZ
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoenen_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightshttp://www.otago.ac.nz/administration/policies/otago003228.htmlen_NZ
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.rights.urihttp://www.otago.ac.nz/administration/policies/otago003228.html
dc.subjectpeer support, online learning, distance educationen_NZ
dc.titleThe benefits of peer support for online learnersen_NZ
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2010-11-01T20:43:05Z
thesis.degree.disciplineCollege of Educationen_NZ
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Artsen_NZ
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters Theses
otago.openaccessOpen
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