Virtual voices and contrapuntal melodies: exploring the liminal experiences of part-time, adult learners as they embark on undergraduate, online study
Cast your vote
You can rate an item by clicking the amount of stars they wish to award to this item.
When enough users have cast their vote on this item, the average rating will also be shown.
Your vote was cast
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractUsing liminal spaces as a heuristic tool, this study explores the experiences of fifteen adult learners as they complete the first academic module of their part-time, online degree. Online undergraduate programmes enable adult learners to make decisions of how their aspirations are best met. The convenience and flexibility of hybrid spaces, enables them to take control of their learning. However, these benefits are reliant upon negotiating new ideas, technologies, constructs of learning and emergent identities which may sit at the counterpoint of existing roles, responsibilities and experiences. For some, this period of transition can consequently be characterised by disorientation and liminality. The findings provide new insights into the context of the decision to study online, highlighting the extent of the emotion and entanglement between an individual’s choice to participate in learning and their personal lifeworld. It shows how online learning provides a degree of agency for some students where participation in other settings could be difficult. This research conceptualises the decision to return to study, in order to identify the interplay of the personal, institutional and circumstantial domains which shape these early encounters. It uses a narrative approach to explore participant experiences in forging their emergent identities, the opportunities and challenges presented by hybrid online spaces, the importance of networks and a sense of belonging and what tools and strategies are deployed in negotiating boundary encounters. Although the data for this study was collected and analysed before the Covid-19 pandemic, the study examines what we, as educator-researchers, can learn from their narratives and how this might inform our professional practice in the Covid-19 context. It makes a methodological contribution to the literature in the growing field of online research methods through its innovative use of online reflective journals and Skype interviews alongside examining the implications of the findings for both policy and practice.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of the University of Wolverhampton for the award of the degree of Doctor of Education.
The following licence applies to the copyright and re-use of this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International