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A Phenomenological Study Exploring the Lived Experience of Science and Technology Students in Further Education Engaging with Online Learning during Covid-19

Cullen, Laura (2021) A Phenomenological Study Exploring the Lived Experience of Science and Technology Students in Further Education Engaging with Online Learning during Covid-19. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Covid-19 a worldwide pandemic has caused a global disruption to many activities, including educational activities. This pandemic has caused a crisis-response migration to emergency remote education necessitated by travel restrictions and social distancing measures implemented. This research explores the lived experience of four Science and Technology students in an Irish Further Education (FE) Institute engaging with online learning during Covid-19 and concludes on the impact of this on the learning experience and explores relevant literature pertaining this. As STEM subjects are practical by their nature, this study aims to uncover the lived experience of learning these subjects online. The focus of this research area developed from my personal interest as a student and my professional interest as a teacher of science.

This study details a phenomenological inquiry utilising the qualitative approach of semi-structured interviews to understand the subjective experience of each participant. Non-probability purposive sampling was used for participant selection to ensure the phenomenon was appropriately researched. The data collected was interpreted through thematic analysis, identifying three significant themes of: (1) Communication as an invaluable feature of online learning, (2) Skills sets in online learning and (3) Empowering learners through online learning. These emerging themes are not representative of anything outside of this specific context.

The findings of this study emphasise the opportunities online learning provides but also highlights the skills deficit in STEM subjects that was created. It is evident from this research, the need for teachers to be trained in the delivery of online teaching and learning. As online learning is part of the future trends in FE, this research has significant implications and provides the knowledge and understanding to improve online teaching and learning in this area and provide equal opportunities for all learners. This study concludes with recommendations for future practice and a statement of opportunities for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects / Types of education > E-Learning
Divisions: Centre for Education and Lifelong Learning > Master of Arts in Educational Practice
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2022 16:24
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 16:24
URI: https://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/5287

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