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A Mixed-Methods Study of Collaboration in Distance Learning Drawing Classes

By: Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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This study describes a multiple-method dissertation study on distance learning drawing classes. Many higher education institutions are resistant to offering studio art classes online, due to traditions that date back to Renaissance times when the apprentice and the master physically shared the same studio. The pedagogy for studio art classes promotes collaboration between students, their peers, and the professor. The research question in this study focused on the student experience of taking an online drawing class, focusing on virtual collaborative critiques. I chose grounded theory interviews to understand the student experience, followed by a content analysis of the critiques. The grounded theory data were then compared and contrasted with the results of the content analysis. The study revealed many insights about both learning to draw online and the process of collaboration, especially the student's need for visual presentations and the presence of a student culture. The comparison of the emergent themes of the dimensional analysis with the a priori codes of the content analysis model required a unique approach. With no existing models of such triangulation to reference, an abstract approach to analysis was taken, honoring the participants, the processes, and the visual nature of learning to draw.

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