Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The answer that seems to emerge from this study is a pretty empatic "no". I would have consulted a wider selection of distance education (DE) journals, but I would imagine the result would have been the same, if not more so: "Lack of methodological rigor has long plagued the field of DE. Our research indicates that the situation continues to be less ideal, to different extents in different aspects, especially in terms of research approach and design, sampling, data source, and possible weaknesses such as limitations, researcher bias and ethical concerns." I have often commented in this newsletter about overgeneralizations being made on the basis of tiny samples and flawed research. But there has been no real attempt over the years to address this, due I think to a variety of factors, including the economics of publishing, lack of agreement of desired outcomes, the politicization of education, the influence of commercial media and technology companies, and the pervasive influence in our field of theory over observation.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Dec 03, 2023 1:07 p.m.

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