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|Women with depression in online learning: A descriptive phenomenological analysis
|Moisey, Susan (Centre for Distance Education)
|Blodgett-Griffen, Cynthia (Centre for Distance Education)
Perry Mahler, Beth (Centre for Nursing and Health Studies)
Kanuka, Heather (University of Alberta)
|Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
|Centre for Distance Education
|This study explored how women in online learning contexts experienced and recovered from depression. Guided by the primary research question —What are the lived experiences of women in online learning who have lived with and recovered from depression? — and a descriptive phenomenological approach, I interviewed 11 women distance learners who suffered from depression during their online studies. Interviews were analyzed using Giorgi’s (2009) descriptive phenomenological method. The Theory of Social Domains was used during the analysis as a sensitizing concept to bring the disciplinary concerns of social work to the study. Seven invariant constituents of the experience were identified: the development of depression; the impact of depression on learning: treatment of depression: peers in online learning: role overload: self-identity; and personal agency. The study concludes with recommendations including increased opportunities for peer interaction in online courses as best pedagogical practice and as essential for students with depression.
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