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delve into an integral component of qualitative data analysis: the role and function of a theoretical or conceptual framework and how this framework serves to organize and guide data analysis.

Theoretical or conceptual frameworks provide a particular perspective, or lens, through which to examine a topic (Bloomberg & Volpe, 2019). There are many different lenses—such as psychological theories, social theories, organizational theories, and economic theories—which may be used to define concepts and explain phenomena. Often times, these frameworks may come from an area outside of your immediate academic discipline. Traditionally, research studies for a Ph.D. as well as for applied degrees must include relevant theoretical or conceptual framework(s) to a frame, or inform, every aspect of the dissertation.

Using a framework for your dissertation can help you to better analyze past events by providing a particular set of questions to ask and a particular perspective to use when examining your topic (Bloomberg & Volpe, 2019). The framework posits new relationships and perspectives vis-à-vis the literature reviewed, thereby providing the theoretical or conceptual link between the research problem, the literature, and the methodology selected for your research. In this way, this framework is the scaffolding of the study, drawing on theory, research, and experience, and—as such—becoming the model that guides your study. Most important, it consists of categories that emanate from the literature; and these categories ultimately become the repository for reporting the findings and guiding data analysis and interpretation (Bloomberg & Volpe, 2019).

You may not realize the critical nature of the conceptual framework in guiding the analysis of data that have been collected. The framework is essentially a practical working tool for guiding the analysis of the data collected, and it becomes the foundation for what will become the coding legend or coding scheme. As pointed out by Bloomberg and Volpe (2019), the process of development requires deep thinking and critical analysis on your part. It also requires creativity and innovation, since your framework will become the basis for understanding, analyzing, and designing ways to investigate the phenomenon you are studying.

To complete this week’s assignment, you have been provided with various resources, including a toolbox that includes all the necessary information to complete this multifaceted assignment. The toolbox contains the following materials: an abridged Chapter One, a data collection instrument (interview guide), three sample coding schemes, and a sample coded interview transcript.

As you are moving forward each week, you should continue to contribute your thoughts and ideas regarding qualitative data analysis to your research journal. The hope is that you are enjoying this reflective process, You can begin preparing for this assignment by completing the following guided steps:

Begin by reading the resources that are provided this week (book chapter and article).

Next, carefully review all the materials in the toolbox. There are various points you should note:

The three coding schemes were developed for this study. The first scheme was based on the literature, Version 1 was an early rendition, and Version 2 was the final coding scheme that was used to code the data.

Coding schemes are usually developed in stages as the researcher seeks to determine the most appropriate and relevant codes. Notice how the coding scheme became more condensed and streamlined as the researcher worked carefully to develop it.

Regarding the partially coded sample transcript (only questions 1-5 are coded), notice how codes are inserted in red to refer to specific coded data segments within the text. When you are coding a transcript, you may choose to use any number of ways to add your codes (colors, highlights, etc.).

Notice how a segment of the transcript may sometimes be assigned more than one code. This type of multiple coding often occurs during an initial round of coding where you are testing out or test driving your coding scheme. As your analysis of the data progresses, further rounds of review will serve to make these segments more clearly defined, allowing you to assign only the most appropriate or relevant codes.

WRITING

Once you feel that you prepared, and are sufficiently familiar with all the material you have been provided, you can begin writing a paper that incorporates the following four parts:

Part 1:

Describe what you understand as a theoretical/conceptual framework, and the role it plays in qualitative data analysis. Be very clear and explicit, and include relevant examples in your discussion.

Part 2:

Provide a critique of the three coding schemes that were provided in your toolbox. Based on all the other material in the toolbox, you should have a good idea of which codes may be applied to the transcript. Review each of the coding schemes again. Think carefully about what codes you might you add to any of the schemes, and what codes might you collapse. Explain your reasons in detail.

Part 3:

Think of a possible hypothetical study that relates to a topic of interest you have in mind for a study or even your future dissertation. Consider a theoretical or conceptual framework that you might apply to this topic. This framework may be something you have been thinking about for some time already, or it may be a new idea. In a few paragraphs, explain how and why this framework could be relevant to a future study to aid your analysis.

Part 4:

Based on your knowledge of a potential research topic, brainstorm or predict a list of codes that you think might serve to create your coding scheme. Your list should be comprehensive and as detailed as possible. This hypothetical coding scheme may include literature-based codes and/or codes that you have thought of based on your own professional experience. For this final portion of the assignment there are two components:

Explain your coding process in detail including all the decisions you made along the way.

Present the actual coding scheme that you have developed.

Adult Learning and Distance Education: A Case Study of a Learning Community in
Higher Education
ORIGINAL LITERATURE-BASED CODE LIST
__________________________________________________________________
Version I, April, 2005
I. INPUTS
A. Setting/Context:
(1) Distance Education Factors
(a) Separation from instructor,
(b) Separation from other students,
(c) Technology (familiarity with or unfamiliarity with: ease versus difficulty,
opportunities versus lack of opportunities for connectedness)
B. Program Structure:
(2) Organization/Design of Program
(a) Classes
(b) Courses
(c) Cohort issues/factors
(3) Leadership/Instruction
(a) Teaching Issues
(b) Academic advisement
(c) Mentoring
(d) Administration
II. PROCESS
A. Strategies/Process/Methods (Separate into instructor-initiated and student initiated;
formal/non-formal; facilitated/non-facilitated)
(1) Collaborative work-related interaction
(2) Social interaction
B. Relationships/Social structure (Separate into student-student and teacher-student interaction)
(1) Positive Aspects
(a) Support (Barab & Duffy 2000; Herring, 2004; Cox, 1999; Koku & Wellman, 2004)
(b) Peer support (Hiltz, 1994)
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(c) Relationships of mutuality (Wenger, 1998)
(d) Bonds (Conrad in press)
(e) Building of rapport (Bielman, 2000)
(f) Camaraderie/friendship (Brown, 2000)
(g) Sociability (Herring, 2004)
(h) Networks (Barab Kling, 2004; Mason & Kay, 1989)
(i) Focus on common practice/mutual enterprise (Barab & Makinster; Barab & Kling)
(j) Solidarity (Herring, 2004)
(k) Roles, hierarchies, rituals (Herring, 2004)
(l) Shared agenda (Warren, 1996)
(m) Shared interest in project or endeavor (Warren, 1996)
(n) Dialogue (Dewey 1916; Marshall, 1996; Holtz, 1992; Heilman, 1984; Schuster, 2003)
(o) Communication (Garrison, Anderson,Archer 2003; Mason & Kay, 1990;
(p) Democratic practices (Dewey 1916)
(q) Collaborative learning (Marshall, 1996; Garrison et al 2003; Harasim, 1989, 1990;
Hiltz, 1994; Garrison, 1993; Stacey, 1999)
(r) Importance of face to face interaction (Bielman, 2000; Conrad, 2002; Conrad, in
press; Cox, 1999; Koku & Wellman, 2004)
(s) Companionship (Koku & Welman, 2004)
(t) “Common activity” (Heilman, 1984; Aron, 2000, Grant et al., 2004; Schuster, 2003;
(u) Social interaction (Aron, 2000; Grant et al., 2004; Schuster, 2003)
(v) Engagement (Brown, 2000; Choi, 2001)
(w) Belonging (Conrad, in press)
(x) Shared practices, beliefs, values, stories (Barab & Duffey, 2000; Barab & Makinster,
2004; Barab & Kling, 2004)
(y) Shared knowledge base (Barab & Kling, 2004)
(z) Shared understanding/insights (Lave & Wenger, 1991)
(aa) Negotiation of meaning (Wenger, 1998)
(bb) Shared repertoire/ways of doing things (Lave & Wenger, 1991)
(cc) Interdependence (Garrison, 1993)
(dd) Self awareness of group as distinct from other groups (Herring, 2004)
(ee) Intimacy of cohort (Choi, 2001; Conrad, in press)
(ff) Openness
(gg) Trust
(hh) Educator’s involvement (Bielman, 2000; Brown, 2000; Roper, 2001; Palloff & Pratt,
1999; Schweier, 2001)
(2) Negative Aspects
(a) Conflict (Herring; St Clair)
(b) Conformity/social conformity (Noddings, 1996; Bitterman, 2000)
(c) Exclusion (Noddings, 1996; Cervero & Wilson, 2001; Muilenberg & Berge, Palloff &
Pratt, 1999; Perrin & Mayhew, 2000; Tobin, 2001)
(d) Tension (St Clair, 1998)
(e) Power and privilege (Cervero & Wilson, 2001)
(f) Incompatibility (Cervero & Wilson, 2001)
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(g) “Disembodied learning” (Beckett, 1998)
(h) “Dislocation” (Edwards & Usher, 1997; Usher & Edwards, 1998)
III. OUTPUTS (What is the impact on learning? What is the nature of the learning?)
A. Acquired Skills/New Learning/Changed Attitudes
(1) Preservation and creation of knowledge (Wenger, 1998)
(2) Openness to new ideas
(3) Development of new perspectives
(4) Respect for diverse perspectives and minority views (Barab & Makinster, 2004;
Garrison, 1993)
B. Social/Cultural Enhancement
(1) Decreased isolation (Bielman, 2000)
(2) Increased sense of connection (Conrad, in press)
(3) Building of rapport (Bielman, 2000)
(4) Camaraderie/friendship (Brown, 2000)
(5) Establishment of meaningful relationships (Barab & Makinster 2004)
(6) Access to peers (Mason & Kay, 1990)
(7) Opportunities for socializing (Mason & Kay, 1990)
C. Professional Enhancement
(1) Access to information and knowledge (Koku & Wellman, 2004)
(2) Opportunities for networking (Barab Kling, 2004; Mason & Kay, 1989)
Adult Learning and Distance Education: A Case Study of a Learning Community in
Higher Education
EARLY VERSION CODING SCHEME (Version 1)
_______________________________________________________________________
Version 4.1 September, 2005
Category (1): Conceptualization of Experience vis-à-vis the Learning Community.
How do participants describe or define the learning community experience? How do they think
and feel about it?
(1.1) Perceptions
(1 P 1) Shared learning experience/forum for sharing
(1 P 3) Community as journey
(1 P 4) Evolving expectations
(1 P 5) Community non-existent or non-priority
(1.2) Characteristics
(1 C 1) Shared purpose and goals
(1 C 2) Based on respect
(1 C 3) Provides support
(1 C 4) Requires commitment
(1 C 5) Entails mutual responsibility
(1 C 6) Membership: Who belongs?
(1 C 7) Roles and Responsibilities: Students and Faculty
Category (2): Impact on Individual Learning.
How is the learning community perceived to affect or influence learning?
(2.1) Acquisition of knowledge, Skills, Attitudes/beliefs
(2 L 1) Critical thinking
(2 L 2) Openness to and appreciation of new perspectives/ideas
(2 L 3) Meta-cognitive abilities
(2 L 4) Tolerance and respect
(2 L 5) Motivation and confidence regarding own learning
(2 L 6) Recognizes value of collaborative learning
(2 L 7) Desire for lifelong learning
(2.2) Impact on Professional Development
(2 P 1) Exposure to diverse experiences
(2 P 2) Networking/ Establishing professional connections
(2 P 3) Access to information/knowledge
(2 P 4) Application of learning to practice
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(2 P 5) Engagement in social action
(2.3) Impact on Socio-cultural Identification
(2 S/C 1) Camaraderie /Fellowship
(2 S/C 2) Strengthened communal bonds
(2 S/C 3) Social responsibility
Category (3): Supports & Barriers to Learning.
What do participants say are the factors or elements that help or stand in the way of their
learning in this community?
(3.1) Personal Factors
(3 P 1) Expectations,
(3 P 2) Attitudes/Preferences
(3 P 3) Willingness and/or ability to contribute and interact
(3 P 4) Diverse experiences
(3 P 5) Commitment
(3 P 6) Self-concept/issues of esteem
(3 P 7) Perceptions of self as learner
(3 P 8) Perceptions of self in relation to other students
(3 P 9) Perceptions of self in relation to faculty
(3 P 10) Issues of power and privilege
(3.2) Organizational Contextual Conditions
(3.2.1) Distance Education Factors
(3 OD1) Technology as support
(3 OD2) Technology as barrier
(3.3) Program Contextual Conditions
(3 Pr 1) Cohort/group issues at own site
(3 Pr 2) Student/group issues at other sites
(3 Pr 3) Advisement
(3 Pr 4) Instruction
(3 Pr 5) Mentoring
(3 Pr 6) Site coordination/administration
(3 Pr 7) Curriculum/content
(3 Pr 8) Program structure
(3 Pr 9) Courses/classes
(3 Pr 10) Level of discussion
(3 Pr 11) Group norms
(3 Pr 12) Learning community part of program description
(3 Pr 13) Specific activities/practices
(3 Pr 13a) Online versus face-to-face activities
(3 Pr 13b) Student initiated versus instructor initiated activities
(3 Pr 13c) Group/collaborative work in class
(3 Pr 13d) Group/collaborative work out of the classroom
(3 Pr 13f) Informal/social interaction out of the classroom
Adult Learning and Distance Education: A Case Study of a Learning Community in
Higher Education
FINAL CODING SCHEME (Version 2)
_______________________________________________________________________
(1) Conceptualization
(1/EXP) Expectations
(1/BRO) Broad/Narrow Perspective
(1/COMP) Comparison / “group learning”
(1/MEM S/F) Membership: Faculty/Students
(1/RR) Roles/Responsibilities
(2) Impact on Learning
(2.1) Knowledge, skills, attitudes/beliefs
(2.1/CRIT) Critical/Reflective thinking
(2.1/OPEN) Openness/Appreciation New Perspectives
(2.1/META) Meta-cognitive abilities
(2.1/APPR) Appreciation of Collaborative Learning
(2.2) Professional Development
(2.2/NET) Networking/ Establishing professional connections
(2.2/APPL) Application of Learning to Practice
(2.3) Socio-cultural Identification
(2.3/REL) Development of Relationships/Camaraderie
(2.3/CON) Connection to Community
(3) Supports & Barriers to Learning
(3.1) Personal Factors
(3.1/DIV) Diversity
(3.1/COMM) Commitment/Investment
(3.1/PEER) Peer Support
(3.1/OPP) Openness
(3.1/SELF) Self-esteem
(3.1/PERS) Personal Agendas/ “Personalities”
(3.2) Program Contextual Conditions
(3.2/CULT) Culture
(3.2/TECH) Technology
(3.2/COH) Cohort
(3.2/ADV) Advisors
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(3.2/INST) Instructors
(3.2/ADM) Administration/Site Coordination
(3.2/CURR) Curriculum
(3.2/SAFE) Safety/Trust
(3.2/VAR) Course Variety
(3.2/NORM) Group Norms
(3.2/DESCR) Learning Community as Part of Program Description
(3.2/FACE/S) Face-to-face with Other Students
(3.2/FACE/F) Face-to-face with Faculty
(3.2/HEV) Group Study/Collaboration
(3.2/INF) Informal/Social Interaction
Adult Learning and Distance Education: A Case Study of a Learning Community in Higher Education
Chapter 1: Introduction
Recent years have seen a massive proliferation of higher education courses offered by way of distance
technologies. Distance learning courses are offered in conjunction with wholly Internet-based degree or
certificate programs, others as particular courses supporting otherwise traditional classroom-centered
programs, and still others as stand-alone courses provided through continuing education units or as
academic outreach not tied to a formal academic strand of study (Lebaron & Miller, 2005). Among even
some Ivy League universities, delivering education via distance learning technologies is an emergent
phenomenon (Rosevear, 2006).
The U.S Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that from
1994-95 to 1997-98 the number of distance education degree programs increased by 72%, and more
than 1.6 million students were enrolled in distance education courses in 1997-98. (Institute for Higher
Education Policy, 2000). It was reported that during the 2000-2001 academic year, degree programs
were offered by 19% of 2- and 4-year institutions (NCES Report, 2002). 56% of 2- and 4-year degree
granting institutions of higher education in the U.S. offered distance education courses, involving an
estimated 3,077,000 enrollments (NCES Report, 2002). These institutions offered 127, 400 different
distance education courses. This number is up from an estimated 54,470 courses that were offered
through distance education during the 1997-1998 academic year, the latter being a more than two-fold
increase from the estimated 25,730 courses offered during the 1994-95 academic year.
The NCES Report (2002) indicates that distance education courses most often employed the Internet
and two video technologies, with 90% of institutions reporting use of the use of the Internet for
asynchronous course delivery, 43% reporting synchronous Internet courses, 51% reporting use of twoway video and audio, and 43% reporting the use of one-way video (Waits & Lewis, 2003). Surveys from
the Sloan Consortium (Allen & Seaman, 2003, 2004) indicate that about 1.9 million students were
studying online in the U.S. in the fall of 2003, up from 1.6 million in fall 2002, with the institutions
surveyed predicting online enrollments topping 2.6 million for the fall of 2004. Schools responding to
the Sloan survey expected online enrollment growth to continue to accelerate from a rate of 19.8% in
2003 to a rate of 24.8% in 2004. These rates exceed the overall rate of growth for the higher education
student population (Allen & Seaman, 2004; Collins, 2004).
Nature of the Study
This study sought to explore the learning community experience of adult learners participating in a
video-based Masters degree program. This research employed qualitative case study methodology to
illustrate one example of a distance learning community within Higher education. The inquiry site was
an Institution of higher education that delivers degree programs by way of online technologies.
Participants of this study included a purposefully selected group of adult students enrolled in a distance
learning Masters degree program, who were at various stages of completion of their program of study.
This group also included some students who had already graduated and some who had withdrawn from
the program.
After securing IRB approval multiple qualitative methods were employed to gather the desired
demographic and perceptual information. This included document review, survey, and semi-structured
interviews. Each phase of data collection built on and informed the next. With this study’s intent of
understanding meaning from the perspective of program participants, it was anticipated that tightly prestructured data analyzing schemes would most likely filter out the unusual and the serendipitous.
Coding categories were thus developed and refined on an ongoing basis, drawing from this study’s
conceptual framework, from related literature and existing theory, from pilot study findings, and from
emergent data. To establish the credibility and dependability of this study the researcher engaged in an
ongoing process of self-reflection through journaling, and also consulted with colleagues, and advisors
to check ideas, and discuss findings and issues of concern. In addition, various strategies were
employed, including the search for discrepant evidence, source and method triangulation, and peer
review of coding schemes.
Statement of the Problem
The logic of this study’s problem statement rests upon a number of assumptions around distance
learning in relation to the learning community. Fundamental to these assumptions is the idea that since
learning is a social phenomenon that best takes place within a social context the learning community is
of significant educational value, and a constituent piece of the teaching-learning dynamic. Although the
shift away from physical proximity has consistently raised the concern that distance education might fall
short in meeting the goal of creating learning communities, as a growing body of research indicates,
distance learning does offer opportunities for the development of learning communities. However, if
one embraces a philosophy of learning that views social participation as a vital aspect of all meaningful
education, then interaction and opportunities for the sharing of knowledge cannot be taken for granted.
The problem this study addresses is that learning communities in the distance learning environment are
not well understood. Therefore these learning communities, as a phenomenon, demand greater
attention from educational researchers if they are to develop a more complete understanding of the
impact on individual learning, and of the limitations and possibilities involved.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to explore the learning community experience of a group of adult learners
participating in one distance learning Masters degree program. Through a better understanding of the
key issues, challenges, and factors involved, it was anticipated that the findings of this research would
enable adult educators to proceed from a more informed perspective in enhancing distance education
practice.
Research Questions
To address the identified problem, and to carry out this study’s purpose, the following qualitative
research questions guided this study:
RQ1. How do students and educators participating in the distance education program of study
conceptualize their experience of the learning community?
RQ2. How and in what ways do students in this distance education program of study perceive that the
learning community impacts on their individual learning?
RQ3. What are the factors and conditions that are perceived to foster and/or inhibit individual learning
in this learning community?
Introduction to Theoretical Framework
The concept of community has a long social-theoretical history, and social scientists, basing their views
on different underlying social philosophies, have characterized communities in different ways in order to
understand different social phenomena. The basic human need for interaction with other human beings
has been a key factor in the formation of communities, but there is also a human need to see oneself in
the context of others to form the concept of identity. Communities are social organizations, and over
time they precipitate a culture with all the features and mechanisms associated with cultural systems
(Durkheim, 1915). Political sociologist Robert Bellah and his colleagues conceived of a community as “a
group of people who are socially interdependent, who participate together in discussion and decisionmaking, and who share certain practices that both define the community and are nurtured by it” (1985,
p. 333). Lave and Wenger (1991), and Wenger (1998) have advanced the term communities of practice
(CoP) to capture the importance of activity in fusing individuals to communities, and of communities in
legitimizing individual practices. Within the context of communities of practice, learning is conceived as
a trajectory in which learners move from legitimate peripheral participation to core participation in a
community of practice.
Predicated on work in anthropology, sociology, and education, Barab and Duffy (2000), in their
discussion of communities of practice, identify four features that are consistently present and, they
argue, requisite of communities. First they conceptualize a community as having a significant history; a
common cultural and historical heritage. Members of a community inherit norms and practices that
have been previously negotiated and agreed on through the experience of those who have come before
them. Second, these authors describe communities as having a shared cosmology, that is related to
shared goals, practices, belief systems, and collective stories that capture canonical practices. Third, the
notion of community suggests something larger than any one member, and as part of something larger
than themselves, members form a collective socially interdependent whole as they work towards the
joint goals of the community and its members. Fourth, a community is constantly reproducing itself,
such that new members can contribute to and support the community; new members move from
peripheral participation to membership through a process of enculturation. Barab, Makinster and
Scheckler (2004) introduce some additional characteristics: a common practice and /or mutual
enterprise; opportunities for interaction and participation; meaningful relationships, and respect for
diverse perspectives and minority views.
A community can act as a learning community when it typically engages in the acquisition, creation, or
transformation of knowledge (Schwier, 2001). The notion of a learning community is predicated on the
assumption that what is accomplished jointly is what no one individual could have done alone (Shulman,
1997). Graves (1992), in defining a learning community, stresses high levels of cooperation and
collaboration among students and teachers, and characterizes a learning community as being (a) a
cohesive yet self-reflective group; (b) where everyone feels that they belong and are respected; and (c)
where interaction and participation is ongoing, regular, and focused around common and shared goals.
These definitions underscore that an emphasis on the social relationships among participants becomes
critical to conceptualizing a learning community. Fulton and Riel (1999) characterize a learning
community as a group of people who have (a) a shared interest in a topic, task, or problem; (b) respect
for the diversity of perspectives; (c) a range of skills and abilities; (d) the opportunity and commitment
to work as a team; (e) tools for sharing multiple perspectives; and (e) knowledge production as a shared
goal or outcome. Riel and Polin (2004) further distinguish between three different types of learning
communities (task-based, practice-based, and knowledge-based), providing rich descriptions of each
type, and advancing typology for characterizing different types of learning communities.
Significance of the Study
As pointed out by Natriello (2005), an initial interest in distance learning from those whose work has
been most closely connected to technology in education is giving way to broader participation by
scholars with more basic interests who view distance learning not as a technology, but as “a new venue
for the organization and provision of learning experiences” (p. 1899). One of the core assumptions
underlying this study is that the learning community is of significant educational value, and a constituent
piece of the teaching learning dynamic. One caveat is that this study is context specific. However it is the
researcher’s conjecture that by way of thick rich description other programs might make decisions about
whether or not and how the findings of this study could be applicable to their settings. Understanding
what constitutes a learning community in the distance education environment, how the learning
community is experienced by participants, and the inherent processes and practices that are perceived
to foster or impede learning, will allow educators to proceed from a more informed perspective in
enhancing distance education practice in terms of both facilitation of programs, and program design.
Definitions of Key Terms
Learning Community: An emphasis on the social relationships among participants becomes critical to
conceptualizing a learning community. Fulton and Riel (1999) define a learning community as “a group
of people who share a common interest in a topic or area, a particular form of discourse about their
phenomena, tools and sense-making for building collaborative knowledge, and valued activities” (p. 1).
Learning: In this study, learning is conceptualized from a constructivist perspective as a process involving
active seeking of meaning from and through experience (Candy, 1991). Learning is the interactive
process of interpretation, integration, and transformation of one’s experiential world (Merriam, 2001)
that results in changes in behavior, thinking, attitudes or values. Mezirow (2000) defines learning as “the
process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of
one’s experience as a guide to future action” (p. 5).
Distance education and distance learning: Distance education is the broad term of reference that
encompasses all forms of learning and teaching in which those who learn and those who teach are for
all or at least most of the time in different locations. The terms distance education and distance learning
are used interchangeably in the literature. In addition, the use of the term online learning is frequently
interchanged with terms such as e-learning (electronic learning), virtual learning, and Web-based
learning. Each of these terms fundamentally refers to a wide set of applications and educational
processes that utilize information and communications technologies to mediate asynchronous as well as
synchronous learning and teaching activities.
Cohort: In the educational sense, a cohort is “a group of learners who proceed along the same
educational journey together as a group…It is the defined membership, common goal, and the
structured meetings over time that contribute to the definition and formation of a cohort” (Saltiel &
Russo, 2001, p. 2).
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