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Use of Instructional Dialogue by University Students in a Distance Education Chemistry Course

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JDE Volume 19, Number 1, ISSN 0830-0445 Publisher: Athabasca University Press


A distance education system may be viewed in terms of intrapersonal and interpersonal instructional dialogues that mediate the learning and instructional resources that enable such dialogues. Instructional resources include self-instruction texts, tutorial sessions, instructor availability, Web sites, and more. This study investigated the kinds of dialogues engaged in by Open University students and the kinds of resources they used while studying an intermediate-level chemistry course. Research objectives were to document (a) what study strategies if any, involving which resources and dialogues, were generally used by students; (b) what dialogue types, enabled through which resources, were specifically used by students to overcome conceptual difficulties; and (c) how the use of resources and dialogues in the chemistry course compared with students' experiences in other science courses. It was found that all students initially chose individual study characterized by intrapersonal dialogue. Only when individual study failed did students opt for interpersonal dialogue. This finding conflicts with the assumed importance often ascribed to interpersonal dialogue by some distance education theorists. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)


Gorsky, P., Caspi, A. & Tuvi-Arad, I. (2004). Use of Instructional Dialogue by University Students in a Distance Education Chemistry Course. The Journal of Distance Education / Revue de l'ducation Distance, 19(1), 1-19. Athabasca University Press. Retrieved December 10, 2019 from .

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