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Research methodology

This chapter offers a clear insight of the methodology that was applied by the researcher to achieve the different objectives outlined in the first chapter of this dissertation. It is considered to be the most essential section in any study in that it acts as the major link between the theoretical basement, the research hypothesis, and the real occurrences in the field. According to Chava and David (2007) the ability to apply the correct methodology during the research process determines the overall acceptability of the results presented at the end of the study.

In this case, the chapter offers the method used by the researcher to evaluate the relationship between the professors and PhD students in the online setting system. To add to that, it offers an intricate critique of the process to establish how effective it was for the study. It therefore gives the reader a better platform for understanding how the results presented to them were actually achieved. 3. 2 Purpose of the study Online education has over the last decade been intensified globally owing to the shifting systems of consumerism that has curved a new niche for academic progress.

Global communities have therefore proliferated and sought to conterminously apply the online community ideals, the technological advancements, and pedagogic aspects in the academic realms (Kehrwald, 2008). It is worth noting that a close correlation seems to be evident between application the online interaction of professors and the cognitive levels of students undergoing the process. This appears perhaps to be based on the overall emergent norms as learning institutions assimilate the new mode of virtual learning process in the 21st century.

It is from this notion that this study sought to establish these norms as used in online interaction between the students and professors, and their significance for maintaining higher education development. Effectiveness of online system, as indicated earlier in this dissertation is viewed by different scholars and analysts in a manner that is highly inconsistent with reference to its efficiency in impacting the required cognitive capacity to the students.

Whereas various structures of the online interaction directly defies the traditional model of direct face to face interaction, there is need to derive a holistic pattern and standard systems for greater positive effects (Jin, 2005; Fox, 2005). Using Blooms cognitive domain, the study sought to establish the effectiveness of the process in the overall pedagogical approach. This was emphasized taking into consideration of the complexities involved in the study.

Some scholars have over the years indicated their overall dissatisfaction with the fast development of the process in relation to the quality of the system as well as emergent ethical issues in the online and internet learning, assessment, and evaluation of interaction between the students, the content, and the facilitators. It was the view of the researcher in this study that there is a great disconnect between the students and their professors in the online learning process.

Therefore, this study seeks to establish the significance of this interaction and derive possible ways of improving the same in form of recommendations given after the data analysis. To effectively derive viable conclusions considering that online education is fast evolving in approach and scope, the study sought to establish the future of the online education while impacting maximally to the learners in the process. 3. 3 Research approach

Among the aspects that are essential in determination of the levels of efficiency in the online education environment like the perception of the learners, attitude of the facilitators, decisions making processes and psychological considerations have been mentioned to impact differently on the success that can be attained from the same process. These factors can be clearly determined from the perceptions and views of the involved stakeholders in the fast spawning online communities globally, therefore giving the research a qualitative.

Moreover, these factors differ strongly from one institution to another depending on the incumbent policies involved in the process, a notion that made the researcher to use a hybridized system of variables via use of weights for measurements of different responses in the research process. The accuracy achieved using the online approach in this research was very high due to the great levels of specificity in the research with emphasis on the professor and PhD students relationship in the online process.

Besides, the approach of online education having been effectively applied by different institutions in US and globally too, makes the qualitative research much easier due to the holistic understanding of the systems’ operations by the different stakeholders even in the midst of the general controversies of whether to conservatively retain the old system, totally change to the modern online system, or mix the two.

Taking into consideration the increasing positivity of online learning system by institutions, qualitative approach therefore forms the best approach in capturing the interplay of compatibility, triability, and complexity of the system in enhancing the relative advantage of the system towards the highest levels [evaluation] in the Booms taxonomic hierarchy of cognitive domain.

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