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Solitary Learner in Online Collaborative Learning: A Disappointing Experience?


Quarterly Review of Distance Education Volume 7, Number 3, ISSN 1528-3518


Research suggests that the solitary learner's learning preferences might be a mismatch with collaborative instructional settings. A question is therefore posed: "In online learning environments that require collaboration, how do solitary learners experience their own learning?" It is important to answer this question to understand and develop effective online learning environments for solitary learners. This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of 5 solitary learners in an online collaborative learning environment. Data were collected through in-depth interviews, field observations, and document analysis. Findings revealed that solitary learners prefer online learning discussions for the value of the reflection they enable, but still prefer individual accomplishment of course-specific tasks. Three themes described the participants' experiences: a preference for internal interactions for learning, a willingness to engage in collaboration but not in an interdependent way, and a preference for interacting academically rather than socially. (Contains 1 note.)


Ke, F. & Carr-Chellman, A. (2006). Solitary Learner in Online Collaborative Learning: A Disappointing Experience?. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 7(3), 249-265. Retrieved May 28, 2020 from .

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