International Research Conference, Lancaster UK, 10-12th April 2006
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The Missing Teacher: Contradictions and Conflicts in the Experience of Online Learners

Günther Dippe
Göteborg University, Sweden


A nationwide Swedish distance education programme, SÄL, was offered to adults with previous higher education studies working as teachers in K-12. A smaller study conducted among this group of students at Göteborg University, Göteborg, revealed concerns regarding teacher performance online. A follow-up and larger study using a questionnaire survey was used to reveal possible conflicts and contradictions in the programme. An analysis suggests that there is a contradiction between how the programme is presented and how it is carried out in a number of cases. There are also conflicts, not only between teachers and students, but also between senior university management and some of the course leaders/teachers. The study found that the students perceived many teachers as being absent in the discussions online. Teacher importance for student knowledge-building also scores very low compared, for example, with face-to-face meetings.


Blended learning, virtual learning environment, adult learning, activity theory

Full Paper - .pdf

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Keynote Speakers

Peter Goodyear, University of Sydney

Ronghuai Huang,

Beijing Normal University

Vera A. Solis, Universidad Centroamericana

Lawrence Hamburg, Higher Education Academy

Sten Ludvigsen, Intermedia, Oslo

Lancaster University


Higher Education Academy

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