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Title: Non-native English speaking online doctoral students' attitudes, perceptions and actions in response to written feedback
Author: Olivier, G. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 3393
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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Background. Previous research on written feedback has taken place mainly in campus-based settings. Written feedback to Non-Native English speaking Online Doctoral students is under-researched. Aim. The purpose of this study is to explore the attitudes, perceptions and actions of Non-Native English Speaking (NNES) Online Doctoral students toward the written feedback that they receive from their Native English Speaking (NES) doctoral research supervisors. This research will address questions about these students’ attitudes and perceptions regarding written feedback and the feedback providers. Furthermore, the investigation’s research findings point towards practical application by doctoral research supervisors. The Social Presence, Transactional Distance and Second Language Activity theories frame the interpretation of the findings. Sample. 100 online doctoral students completed the online survey of which 41 completed enough of the survey to be included in the study and 10 telephonic or Skype interviews were conducted. The survey respondents lived on different continents and represented seventeen distinct first languages, namely Afrikaans; Arabic; Chinese; Croatian; Dutch; French; German; Italian; Malay; Malayalam; Mandarin; Portuguese; Romanian; Russian; Spanish; Swedish; and Turkish. Method. A survey preceded and informed the 10 individual semi-structured interviews. An exploratory sequential, mixed methodological approach was used to develop an understanding of the main themes related to what NNES online doctoral students do with written feedback. Findings. This study focuses on the intersection of the online modality with the language issues encountered by NNES online doctoral students as opposed to campus-based NNES doctoral students or NES online doctoral students. The focus of this study is not a comparison between campus-based and online NNES and NES students but is intended to reflect upon issues that will promote the use of written feedback to improve the NNES online doctoral students learning experience. This study found that while NNES online doctoral students share many of the experiences of NNES campus-based students and NES online doctoral students, the combination of online and language issues compound the NNES online doctoral students’ ability to make good use of the written feedback that they receive. This combination of online and NNES has significant implications for policy, institutional guidance and practice.
Supervisor: Kelm, K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral