Rebecca Rebecca Fitzgerald

Rebecca Fitzgerald is a Registered Nurse She is a Doctoral candidate completing her Educational Doctorate in Distance Education at Athabasca University. She successfully passed her candidacy exam in May 2020. Rebecca’s dissertation research is entitled “A storied picture of hope: Using Narrative Inquiry and Photovoice to understand international students’ experience of hope in asynchronous and online learning communities in higher education”. Hope is at the heart of Rebecca’s research interests. Other research initiatives into the concept of hope includes “Exploring Nursing Students’ Hope During Undergraduate Education”. Rebecca is the Associate Dean for the School of Allied Health at Lethbridge College.


 

Title: A storied picture of hope: Using narrative inquiry and photovoice to understand international students’ experience of hope in asynchronous and online learning communities in higher education

Abstract:

A storied picture of hope: Using narrative inquiry and photovoice to understand international students’ experience of hope in asynchronous and online learning communities in higher education.

Enrolling in higher education is a journey of hope. Hope as a cognitive-motivational life force can provide the internal resources necessary to engage, adapt, and succeed in educational endeavors. A narrative-photovoice methodology within an interpretivist phenomenological paradigm was implemented to capture international students’ experience of hope.

Research Questions
1. How do ESOL international students describe their experience of hope in asynchronous and online learning communities in a specific English-speaking, Western institution of higher education?
a. What do international students see as critical to encouraging their hope
b. What do international students see as barriers to hope
2. What role does hope play in international students’ ability to engage, adapt, and succeed.

The phenomenon that participants revealed through the mutual joining of text and photographic images gave voice to international students’ experience of hope. Four themes were collected from the data that characterized this experience in online learning communities. Theme one “Exercise Books” and theme two, “A New Day” represent encouragers of hope. Theme three Don’t Look Down and theme four “A Dark Road” are representative of participants’ barriers to hope.

The implications of this study provide information on the role distance education policy, program makers, educators, and curriculum designers have in ensuring hope building strategies are embedded in online teaching and learning initiatives to promote successful academic outcomes for international students in Canada.

 


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