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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/423

Title: Survivors of Complex Trauma as Adult Online Learners: A Case Study
Authors: Schmidt, Hilary
Supervisor(s): Dr. Cynthia Blodgett-Griffin (Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Dr. Pamela Walsh (Athabasca University)
Dr. Emily Doyle (Athabasca University)
Degree: M.Ed.(DE)
Department: Centre for Distance Education
Keywords: Adult online learners
Postsecondary online learners
Complex trauma
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
Trauma-informed educational practices
Issue Date: 29-Nov-2023
Abstract: This qualitative instrumental collective case study explores how adults with a history of complex trauma experience online learning and their unique needs in the adult/postsecondary online learning environment. Three participants described a distinct experience of online learning, including struggles with executive functioning, challenges regulating emotion and dealing with a heightened perception of threat, re-experiencing trauma, negative beliefs about the self, and difficulties navigating relationships. These trauma impacts affected not only participants’ learning and course experience, but also their ability to interact with the institution and navigate the complex processes of applying, registering, and accessing financial aid. Nonetheless, these participants are highly skilled in managing impacts of their trauma, and they are driven to learn, placing the highest intrinsic value on education. Participants identified establishing safety; trust and transparency; and empowerment, voice, and choice as top priorities for implementation of trauma-informed educational practices in the adult/postsecondary online learning context.
Graduation Date: Nov-2023
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/423
Appears in Collections:Theses & Dissertations

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