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This paper analyzes the article by A. Hawkins, C. R. Graham and M. K. Barbour, labeled “‘Everybody is their own Island’: Teacher Disconnection in a Virtual School”. The article deals with the issue of online K-12 education and its participants’ perceptions of it. In our paper, we will look into the article’s persuasiveness, its study design, literary devices employed in the text, the presence of personal points of view, and, finally, the research’s appropriateness for its intended audience.
How Convincing Is the Article?
The article in question is written rather convincingly. The authors give a good explanation of the problem in the introduction and conduct a considerable literature review. The article is based on approximately 40 sources, which also adds to the credibility of the materials. The research itself, even though being limited to eight participants only, provides such quotes from the interviews and discusses such issues that it is clear that these problems are encountered by most if not all online teachers. The recommendations that the authors offer appear to be able to at least partially solve the discovered problems.
Is the Article Consistent with Qualitative Study Designs?
The article uses the qualitative study methodology. In particular, it is consisted with the phenomenological study design, exploring the feelings of the participants that they experienced in relation to their online teaching activities by conducting semi-structured interviews and coding the obtained data to analyze it and identify the important themes. The research is presented according to the widely-used format for such studies, which includes an introduction, a literature review, a description of methodology and findings, and a discussion of the results. The phenomenological design is appropriate for the studied issues, for the aim was to explore the personal feelings of participants of the online schooling process.
Literary Devices in the Article
Although the article does not employ many literary devices (which is appropriate and desired for formal accounts of researches, because the frequent use of such devices might in many cases make the text ambiguous), some of them are employed in the text as quotes of the participants’ responses in order to better communicate the feelings of the interviewees, which is of importance for this kind of study. For instance, the metaphor which says that in online studying “everybody is their own island” was not just cited in the text (Hawkins, Graham and Barbour 137), it was even made a part of the title of the article.
Personal Points of View in the Article
The authors of the article do not express their personal point of view much, complying with the standard requirement to be objective and state the facts. However, they often quote and explain the personal feelings of the study’s population, which is appropriate and required for a phenomenological study. Having given the account of these personal feelings according to the identified themes, the authors were able to draw objective conclusions using the personal points of view of the participants.
Appropriateness for the Intended Audience
The formal style of the article, the proper order of information and its confirmation either with scholarly literature or with the quotes of the participants make the article an adequate account of the research. Being objective, clear and well-structured, the article is written appropriately for the intended audience, which includes researchers of educational issues, teachers, and educators.
As we were able to see, the text provides an adequate account of the conducted research. Being rather convincing, it is written according to the phenomenological qualitative research design. The article employs some literary devices while quoting the participants, which better reflects their opinions. Even though the text contains personal points of views of the study’s population, it is still objective thanks to the adequate use of the methodology. The article, being well-structured and clear, is appropriate for the intended audience, and is likely to be helpful in the future attempts to improve the situation with the investigated issue.
Hawkins, Abigail, Charles R. Graham and Michael K. Barbour. “‘Everybody is their own Island’: Teacher Disconnection in a Virtual School.” The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13.2 (2012): 123-144. Print.