Dialogue in a distance education physics course

Paul Gorsky, Avner Caspi, Ricardo Trumper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the kinds of dialogues utilized by Open University students while studying
an intermediate level physics course. Research objectives were twofold: to document what
dialogue types, mediated through which resources, were (1) generally utilized by students as they
learned; and (2) were specifically utilized by students to overcome conceptual difficulties. It was
found that all students initially chose individual study characterized by intrapersonal dialogue.
Only when individual study failed did students opt for interpersonal dialogue. This finding
conflicts with the assumed importance often ascribed to interpersonal dialogue by some distance
education theorists.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)265-277
JournalOpen Learning
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


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