A Q Methodological Study on Perceptions of What Would Enhance Distance Education

By Joseph Meloche and Ying Sun.

Published by Management Education: An International Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this study is to inform the improvement of distance education by enhancing our understandings of the views held by graduate students and faculty who use distance education to study or to teach. Q Methodology provides us with a powerful and proven method for obtaining the perceptions that will enable us to examine their views. In the process of the Q sorting the participants then rank the collected perceptions on a scale that ranges from highly important to less importance. The ranking is followed by a factorial analysis to identify areas of agreement in the form of Factors arising from the sorts. The procedure to accomplish this begins with a brainstorming session (the concourse) to gain their perceptions on distance education, expressed as statements and then through the sorting process those statements are ranked by the individual participants. The students/faculty will receive an email request to voluntarily participate. This request includes a list of perceptions expressed as statements, instructions and the sorting grid. The following paper will explain the methodology in greater detail and review the results from the study in the context of improving the experience of distance education for both faculty and students.

Keywords: Distance Education, Online Education, Q Methodology, Activity Theory

Management Education: An International Journal, Volume 13, Issue 4, February 2015, pp.15-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 650.278KB).

Dr. Joseph Meloche

Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Sciences, North Carolina Central Uniiversity, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Meloche is an active researcher who applies Q Methodology and Activity Theory predominantly in the conduct of his research. In addition to his own research, Dr. Meloche has supervised several PhD Students while at the University of Wollongong, (UOW). Dr. Meloche worked with the Schools’ of Information Systems, Management & Marketing, at UOW. One of his PhD students achieved a University award for her work using play as a metaphor to support collaboration. His scholarship has been recognized with a best paper award from the IEEE, UBICOMM 2008 conference for his paper; ICT devices as Ubiquitous Tools for Information Seeking Activity, València Spain. His service activities have included being the President 2010-2011S to the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity (ISSSS ). In 2007, for his research, he received a New Researcher Award from UOW. Dr. Meloche has considerable, international experience having worked in Canada and Australia. He has also been a visiting Scholar at Kansai University in Japan (2007) and he has had an ongoing research relationship with the Department of Library and Information Studies at Peking University in Beijing, China since 1997. His research has extended to Europe, Russia, Asia, North America, and Oceania

Dr Ying Sun

Assistant Professor, Department of Library and Information Studies, State University of New York, at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA

Dr. Ying Sun is an active researcher in the areas of Information Retrieval (searching for information), Text Mining (detecting significant patterns or trends) and Information System Evaluation. Dr. Sun joined the department of library and information studies (DLIS) at the University at Buffalo in 2006. She has worked there as an assistant professor since then. Dr. Sun was a major member of several research projects funded by DARPA, ARDA, etc. She worked for RelevantNoise Inc. as senior data mining engineer, where she worked on the development of a Blog mining system. Her works have been published on or presented at Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Scientometrics, the annual meetings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Human Language Technology conference - North American chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics annual meeting.