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Experiences of an Online Doctoral Course in Teacher Education

Experiences of an Online Doctoral Course in Teacher Education
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Author(s): Despina Varnava-Marouchou (European University Cyprus, Cyprus) and Mark A. Minott (University College of the Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 21
Source title: Cases on Professional Distance Education Degree Programs and Practices: Successes, Challenges, and Issues
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Kirk P.H. Sullivan (Umeå University, Sweden), Peter E. Czigler (Örebro University, Sweden) and Jenny M. Sullivan Hellgren (Umeå University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4486-1.ch002


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This chapter outlines the benefits and challenges experienced by two students who had completed an online doctoral programme at a popular United Kingdom university. Benefits include accessing courses from anywhere in the world, engaging in synchronous and asynchronous communication, and the development of creative thinking and reflective skills. The most important benefit was the fact that the online programme allowed the students to fulfill the dream of achieving a doctoral degree in teacher education while maintain family and work commitments. Some challenges of online learning include feelings of isolation, balancing family commitment with study, managing time, and coping with additional workload brought on by course requirements. The conclusion was made that the online environment is an excellent way of placing students at the centre of the learning experience, allowing them to have total control of their time and the process of learning. This, however, required an alteration in their thinking and a willingness to change certain attitudes about learning.

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